September is here! The month when all Belizeans put even more attention to the tropical updates as the Hurricane Season reaches its peak dates in activity. September and October are the most active months with hurricanes forming mostly in the Western Caribbean and tracking west towards our region; more reason to be even more vigilant.
Tropical Storm Katia is the11th named storm this year and comes a full ten days before the half-way point of the Atlantic hurricane season. Climatologically, September 10 marks the half-way point.
Dr. Jeff Masters, Hurricane Expert at Weather Underground, notes that a typical hurricane season has just 10 - 11 named storms, so we've already had a whole season's worth of storms before reaching the half-way point. At this rate, 2011 will see 25 named storms, making it the 2nd busiest season on record, behind 2005. Katia's formation date of August 30 puts 2011 in 5th place for earliest date of arrival of the season's 11th storm. Only 2005, 1995, 1936, and 1933 had an earlier 11th storm.
Make sure you all are vigilant of impending bad weather and have your hurricane evacuation and preparedness plans in check. It does not hurt to be prepared; look at all the damage Hurricane Irene (only a Category 1) made in the US this past week.
Recovery from the destruction left behind by Hurricane Irene continues in the mid-Atlantic and New England states. Irene's storm surge, winds, and record rains likely did $3 - $6 billion in insured damage to the U.S., according to AIR-Worldwide. Since actual damages are typically double insured losses, Irene's total price tag will likely be $6 - $12 billion, making it one of the top 20 most expensive hurricanes to hit the U.S. Irene will be one of the most expensive Category 1 hurricanes ever; the record is held by 1972's Hurricane Agnes, which did $11.8 billion in damage.