Summary of an early 2018 cyclone season, more active than average and characterized by low rainfall in Haiti
Monday, December 3, 2018 ((rezonodwes.com)) – If in the Caribbean basin, the inhabitants have lived with the cyclonic risk since the dawn of time, the Haitian population and the other Caribbean nations have been well and truly escaped hydro-meteorological risks (except drought) during this year.
Indeed, the hurricane season of the North Atlantic 2018 officially ends this Friday, November 30 and has experienced a higher than normal activity, even if the West Indies arc was not really concerned. Haiti was once again fortunate and spared the vagaries of this season. Most of the hurricanes Florence and Michael, who caused extensive damage to the southeastern United States, are remembered. In total, the 2018 hurricane season produced 15 named storms, including eight hurricanes, two of which were “Major” or three. It should be noted that an average season has twelve storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes. For this, from Alberto in May to Oscar in October, the 2018 hurricane season has been more active than normal.
This hurricane season has been described as precocious because we recorded the formation of a cyclone, the one named Alberto in May 2018, even before the first of June, which is the date of the beginning of the said season.
In the case of the Antilles, two hurricanes of category 1 landed. It's about “Beryl and Isaac”. But they had fortunately lost strength. In July, Beryl crossed over to the tropical wave stage of Guadeloupe while Isaac reached the stage of strong tropical storm. Given its trajectory, Guadeloupe had been placed in red vigilance while the northern islands were in orange vigilance. This last ranking was decided because of the fragility of Saint-Martin. Moreover, the maximum wind for Isaac was recorded in Saint-Barthélemy, a gust of 96 km / h, which is not huge.
The phenomena have weakened with the approach of the arc Caribbean because of what the meteorologists call shearing: strong winds at high altitude that disintegrate the system in question
The hurricane season was also marked by the powerful swell that swept over the Caribbean coasts in September. This swell was caused by the hurricane called “Leslie” which circled in the middle of the Atlantic, more than 1000 km from Saint-Barthélemy. It should be noted that swells are more easily predicted than storms. A cyclone, even of low category, causes very strong winds on certain zones, which raises the sea. The swell can propagate really very far. For example, the swells in the north between January and April are due to depressions in the north.
It is important to specify another peculiarity of the 2018 hurricane season. This year, seven systems have become subtropical. This is a record, the previous one being five in 1969. This is the first time we see so many hybrid systems in the Atlantic.
As a reminder, forecasters all announced a season close to the normal, it will eventually have been more active than that. “These early season forecasts do not mean very much anyway.”
If the hurricane season did not have any dangerous phenomena and was pleasant for areas at high risk of flooding, such as This is not the case for areas with agricultural potential. Because, these areas of production did not receive rains to feed the systems of cultures especially in the mountainous zones. In fact, in the different geographical regions of the country, the dry season seemed finally to appear with a deficit tendency in rain. For example, the farmers of Fondwa (Leogane district) and Kenscoff could not respond to the traditional periods of the different phases of technical itineraries of their agricultural plots because of the prolonged drought.
This is why says that the 2018 hurricane season is characterized by very low rainfall. In other words, the rainfall record of the last six months indicates that there was not enough rainfall that could feed agricultural production and satisfy the other water needs of the population, especially in mountain areas. Thus, the deficit trend previously announced is true and the rain deficit is around -50%. This could have a negative impact on the country's domestic agricultural production and could lead to further food insecurity among the Haitian population. In addition, the temperature forecasts were more uncertain and it was a little warmer during this season.
Thus, given the variability of rainfall and the precocity of the hurricane season, it is recommended that authorities and the University to conduct ongoing research to properly study the evolution of climate parameters and factors in Haiti. This will facilitate the adoption of a new crop calendar for each agro-climatic region in Haiti. With this, Haitian farmers will be better informed and better prepared to cope with possible disturbances during a hurricane season.
Second, with the prolonged drought in recent months, we must expect a hunger acute or food insecure across the country. As a result, officials must mobilize food resources for the benefit of the population while taking further steps to revive the agricultural sector in Haiti.
Finally, it is important to emphasize that, most of the time or each cyclone season Haiti is still subject to three major risks: 1) earthquake, 2) cyclone and 3) drought. Then, it is strongly recommended to the established authorities to design and implement a plan of contingency multi-risk in order to protect well the Haitian population.
Talot BERTRAND Ing-Agr.
Specialist in Environmental Education
Secretary General of PROMODEV
Phones: (509) 2230-9998 (Office) / (509) 3733-5953 (Wathsapp)