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Hurricanes pose no major risk to Panama, but precautions are needed

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  • Tue, 04/24/2018 - 20:48
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The transition to the rainy season in Panama will keep a normal scenario from May to July, in terms of the hurricane season that will not have major repercussions for the country, although authorities must take precautions and maintain vigilance, reported today Empresa de Transmisión Eléctrica S.A. (Etesa).

Etesa's research and applications manager, Alcelyn Yau, said during the presentation of climate forecasts for May - July 2018 at the 55th Central America Climate Forum held in El Salvador, that the territory begins a phase of the rainy season in an advanced and normal way.

"This year we have had a slight advance in what has been the transition to the rainy season that was forecast for the first fifteen days of April; it is expected that by the end of the month the rains will be regularized," she said.

Although she specified that the coastal sectors of Bocas del Toro, Comarca Ngäbe Buglé, north of Veraguas and the province of Colón, which will have greater precipitation during the months of the year, are excepted.

Regarding hurricanes, the expert said that between 12 and 16 tropical cyclones and storms are expected to enter the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

"The hurricanes could be more intense than normal, although it is important to know that Panama is not a nation that is affected, but it needs to take the necessary precautions by the security forces to monitor the forecasts of Etesa, of the weather conditions," said Yau.

She said that this season, according to the forecasts issued by international agencies, indicates that it would be less active compared to 2017, in which 17 storms were formed, out of which 10 were hurricanes, 6 of them of higher category (3, 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson intensity scale).

The very active 2017 hurricane season in the Atlantic will be remembered for the devastating passage of the Irma and Maria cyclones and for the first time that three category 4 hurricanes hit the US coasts, with a quantification of record damages of about 200,000 million dollars. Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominica, the Virgin Islands and the Florida Keys were especially affected.

In 2018 the hurricane season will start from June 1 to November 30, but the Central American country could feel its effects between August and October.

Most prediction models of the temperatures of the equatorial Pacific Ocean estimate that during the validity period of this perspective, the transition from the La Niña phenomenon to the neutral phase will occur.

The 55th Climate Forum of Central America and the 34th Forum of Applications of Climate Forecasts to Food and Nutritional Security was held in San Salvador on April 17 and 18, with the objective of obtaining the "Regional Climate Forecast" for Mesoamerica.

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