Met Service forecasts above normal hurricane season
The Meteorological Service of Jamaica (Met Service) says Jamaicans must prepare for above-normal activity for the 2017 hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30.
Director of the Met Service, Evan Thompson, said some 11 to 17 tropical systems are expected for the season.
He said it is predicted that five to nine hurricanes will develop, with two to four of them being Category Three or stronger.
"The forecast for this year compares with what we experienced last year and suggests that this 2017 season will be either normal or a bit above normal in terms of its tropical cyclone activity," Mr Thompson said.
He was addressing the launch of Disaster Preparedness Month and the start of the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season on June 1 at Jamaica House.
Must be prepared
Thompson reminded Jamaicans that the forecast "does not indicate how many of these systems will or could affect the country directly", and so persons must always be prepared.
"Recent memory will tell us that just one surface trough is able to inflict damage of over $2 billion and destroy livelihoods. We must ensure that we prepare ourselves for the worst, while we are praying for God's mercy," he said.
Meanwhile, director of the Met Service said the agency will be improving on its methods of communicating with the public.
This, he said, will include the use of social media and text messages on mobile phones.
"You will also be getting your warning messages in graphical imagery, where you can also see colour coding, as to whether it will be an immediate warning, or long-term warning. So, you will be seeing that, as we roll out this hurricane season," Thompson said.