NEMO Week planned for Belize Rural South

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Each year the hurricane season starts June 1st and ends on November 30th. Prior to the beginning of the season the National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO) hosts a “NEMO Week” in preparation for the season. This year, the week is observed under the theme, Preserving Life and Property and will take place during the week of May 27 – June 1, 2012.

As part of the national activities, all schools throughout the country have been invited to join and participate in a National poster contest to be judged in Belmopan for NEMO Week. The contest is open to students in standard 4 to 6 in all primary schools countrywide. Entries must be submitted through the school’s principal or a class teacher no later than May 22nd and depicting the theme “Preserving Life and Property”. Posters will be judged on expression of the theme; creativity and originality, visual clarity and appeal; broad audience appeal and educational value. There will be prizes for first, second and third places. The winning posters will be used as display during NEMO week at NEMO Headquarters in Belmopan and other displays throughout the year as well as will be considered for promotional materials. Poster contestants will be competing at a chance to win $1,600 in prizes.

Locally, all schools in the Belize Rural South constituency are invited to participate in the quiz contest scheduled for May 29th. Other activities include a church service, scheduled for Sunday the 27th, radio and TV talk show appearances to promote Public Awareness on Monday 28th, Quiz contest at the Lion’s Den on May 29th at 1PM, and ending with an entertainment night on June 1st scheduled to start at 7pm at Central Park. For more information about NEMO training, feel free to Contact Ms. Jeromey Timrose, district emergency coordinators for Belize Rural South at telephone number: 206 – 2891 or cell; 600-8672/666 – 7476

While NEMO goes into full preparation mode, on the 4th of April 2012, Drs Philip J. Klotzbach and William M. Gray, of the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University, issued the expected forecast for the Atlantic hurricane activity.

According to the release, information obtained through March 2012 indicates that the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season will have less activity than the median 1981-2010 season.  It is estimated that 2012 will have about four hurricanes (median is 6.5), 10 named storms (median is 12.0), 40 named storm days (median is 60.1), 16 hurricane days (median is 21.3), two major (Category 3-4-5) hurricanes (median is 2.0) and three major hurricane days (median is 3.9).

The probability of a U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 80 percent of the long-period average. The Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone (NTC) activity in 2012 is expected to be approximately 75 percent of the long-term average. This forecast is based on a new extended-range early April statistical prediction scheme that utilizes 29 years of past data.
Analog predictors are also utilized. A somewhat below-average Atlantic basin hurricane season is expected due to a combination of an anomalously cool tropical Atlantic and the potential development of El Niño.

Coastal residents are reminded that it only takes one hurricane making landfall to make it an active season for them, and they need to prepare the same for every season, regardless of how much activity is predicted.

On April 13th, the name Irene was retired from the official list of Atlantic Basin tropical storm names by the World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) hurricane committee because of the fatalities and damage caused in August 2011 and will be replaced by Irma. Storm names are reused every six years for both the Atlantic Basin and eastern North Pacific Basin, unless retired for causing a considerable amount of casualties or damage. Irene is the 76th name to be retired from the Atlantic list since 1954.

The storm names for 2012 are as follows: Alberto, Beryl, Chris, Debby, Ernesto, Florence, Gordon, Helene, Isaac, Joyce, Kirk, Leslie, Michael, Nadine, Oscar, Patty, Rafael, Sandy, Tony, Valerie and William.

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