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Posted: Monday 3 June, 2024 at 4:03 PM

Address by the Honourable Spencer Brand on the occasion of the start of the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season

    Ladies and gentlemen, residents and visitors, I address you today as we stand on the cusp of yet another hurricane season in our beloved region.


    As the clock strikes the beginning of the 2024 Hurricane Season, we must once again brace ourselves for the potential wrath of one of nature’s most powerful and destructive forces. The Caribbean, known for its beauty and resilience, has time and again faced the fury of hurricanes that have left behind a trail of devastation and heartache.


    Let us not forget the lessons learned from past experiences and the importance of preparedness in the face of such formidable adversaries.


    The 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season arrives amidst a backdrop of uncertainty and challenges.


    The effects of climate change are becoming increasingly evident, leading to more frequent and intense storms that test the limits of our infrastructure and resources.


    NOAA National Weather Service forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center predict above-normal hurricane activity in the Atlantic basin this year.


    NOAA’s outlook for the 2024 Atlantic Hurricane Season, which spans from June 1 to November 30, predicts an 85% chance of an above-normal season, a 10% chance of a near-normal season, and a 5% chance of a below-normal season.


    NOAA is forecasting a range of 17 to 25 total named storms (winds of 39 miles per hour or higher). Of those, 8 to 13 are forecast to become hurricanes (winds of 74 miles per hour or higher), including 4 to 7 major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 miles per hour or higher).


    The upcoming Atlantic Hurricane Season is expected to have above-normal activity due to a confluence of factors, including near-record warm ocean temperatures in the Atlantic Ocean, development of La Niña conditions in the Pacific, reduced Atlantic trade winds, and less wind shear, all of which tend to favor tropical storm formation.


    As we saw in years past, the impacts of hurricanes can be catastrophic, causing widespread destruction, loss of life, and untold suffering. It is therefore imperative that we approach this hurricane season with a sense of vigilance and readiness. Preparedness is key to minimizing the potential impacts of these natural disasters and ensuring the safety and well-being of our communities.


    We must heed the warnings of meteorologists and emergency officials, and take proactive measures to protect ourselves, our families, and our properties.


    As we embark on this new hurricane season, let us remember the importance of solidarity and cooperation. In times of crisis, it is essential that we come together as a community to support one another and lend a helping hand to those in need.


    Let us not forget the spirit of resilience and unity that defines our people and guides us through even the darkest of times.


    To our emergency responders, first responders, and volunteers, I extend my deepest gratitude for your unwavering dedication and selfless service. Your bravery and sacrifice in the face of danger are truly commendable, and we are forever grateful for your tireless efforts to keep our communities safe.


    To our residents and visitors, I urge you to stay informed, stay prepared, and stay safe. Take the necessary precautions, heed evacuation orders if issued, and have a plan in place for you and your loved ones. Remember that your safety is paramount, and it is better to be over-prepared than caught off guard.


    As we stand together at the threshold of another hurricane season, let us draw strength from our shared history, our resilience, our determination, and our faith in God to overcome any challenge that comes our way.


    Let us face the uncertainties of the future with courage and unity, knowing that together, we can weather any storm. May this 2024 Hurricane Season be a reminder of our capacity to endure, adapt, and rebuild in the face of adversity. Let us emerge from this season stronger, more united, and more prepared than ever before. Together, we can weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side.


    Thank you, and God bless us all.








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