Today’s Editorial Nov.16: Still in hurricane season

The fact Tropical Depression 27 is trying to get better organised in the eastern Caribbean serves as a reminder to us here in the Cayman Islands that the 2005 hurricane season is not over.

Officially, there are still two weeks left in the hurricane season, but we should remember hurricanes don’t always stick to the season dates.

In 1925 from 29 November until 4 December a tropical storm formed in the western Caribbean and moved north to become a Category 1 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico on 30 November. It hit just south of Tampa Bay, Florida, crossed the state and re-emerged in the Atlantic Ocean and then hit the southern end of the North Carolina Outer Banks.

The storm was blamed for about 50 deaths.

In 1954, between 30 December and 6 January, Hurricane Alice crossed islands of the northeast Caribbean.

Then in 1984, Hurricane Lili formed from 12-24 December, but stayed out to sea.

And the list goes on and on.

Just as recently as last week, before Tropical Depression 27 formed, weather watchers were looking at a storm system in the southwest Caribbean, which could have developed into something more than just rain producing event.

While we are all watching the calendar for that magic day of 30 November when hurricane season is officially over, we should still be on our guard.

Make sure that you have plenty of hurricane supplies in stock.

While the shutters should already be off your homes and businesses for obvious safety reasons, it is still important to have them in a place that is easily accessible so they can be put up at a moment’s notice.

We saw the 2005 Hurricane Season begin before the calendar starting date of June 1 when Hurricane Adrian formed in the Pacific in May and was forecast to jump into the Gulf of Mexico and threaten Cayman. Luckily the storm died in the mountains of Central America.

It would not be unusual and should come as no surprise to any of us who live in the Cayman Islands if we are threatened yet again by a tropical storm system this year, especially in this record-breaking hurricane season.

We need to be weather wary at all times, not just during the calendar days between 1 June and 30 November.

Now is not the time to let down your guard.

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