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Published 10th September 2013, 5:7pm

The 2013 season has produced eight tropical storms so far, but as of the morning of September 10th, there have been no Atlantic Hurricanes. This is an unusual situation. The latest first hurricane to form in the Atlantic was an unnamed storm back on September 16, 1941. There are two years where there were no recorded hurricanes at all, but there remains a degree of uncertainty about these records because that was prior satellites. Tropical Storm Humberto has now formed in the Eastern Atlantic and is predicted to become the first hurricane of 2013.

Weather experts (such as Kottlowski at Accuweather) caution that the atmospheric conditions that have resulted in a quiet beginning to 2013 hurricane season are about to change, and it is probable we will soon see increasing cyclone activity. “Hurricane formation in the Atlantic is overdue and is soon likely to shift in favor of multiple tropical systems,"

Cayman is located in a high frequency area for hurricanes passing through the Caribbean Sea. We shouldn't assume the rest of the season will end quietly and meteorologists have noted that the season with the greatest similarity to what we've seen during the first half of the 2013 season was 1988. That year, we also had unusual quietness before September 10, no El Niño, and above average ocean temperatures, however the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, Hurricane Gilbert, brushed past the Cayman Islands and there were also two other major hurricanes.

The people of Cayman should not drop their guard. Hazard Management is taking this opportunity to remind residents that it only takes one hurricane to threaten lives and cause property damage. If you have used up your emergency stock of non-perishable food and emergency water supplies it is time to replace them. Cut back trees that overhang buildings, check that shutters work and that insurance premiums are up-to-date. All residents should have a flashlight, a battery operated radio and plan that includes knowing where you will ride out a storm. A full list of supplies for your disaster preparedness kit can be found on the website or pick up a copy of the revised and updated hurricane information kit at the HMCI office.