Due to my absence the following account of our speaker's presentation was taken from the Royal Gazette article by Jennifer Phillips.

Bermuda can expect a slightly above average hurricane season this year, according to Bermuda's top meteorologist

 

The statistics for this year, are expected to be up slightly from last year.

 

"This year we're looking at 15 named storms, eight of which will be hurricanes and three or four will be intense hurricanes," Dr Guishard said. Last year's statistics were 15 named storms and six hurricanes, with only two of the six being intense.  He warned that Bermudians needed to be ready no matter what the season was forecasted to be. "It only takes one storm to have an active season," he said.

 

Hurricane season officially starts on June 1 through November 30 but Dr. Guishard said that the height of activity happens in August through October. All of Bermuda's worst hurricanes (Fabian, Florence and Emily) took place throughout September, which he believes is the most active hurricane month.

 

Dr. Guishard said the importance of preparation during hurricane season is vital and added that hurricanes are not the only natural disaster on the horizon, naming tornadoes and tsunamis as potential issues.  "It's not just hurricane awareness, but awareness of all natural disasters is key," Dr. Guishard said.

 

He said that since the 1970s there has been a drastic reduction in weather errors because of new technology. Though this new technology can measure the distance of a storm better, they do not predict the intensity of a storm, a part of research that hasn't improved in 20 years.

 

The way we communicate changes with technology, something that was made apparent to Dr. Guishard during the false tsunami scare in December 2006.  This showed the Bermuda Weather Service how we would communicate if we were faced with an actual emergency, which was mainly through cell phones.

 

Dr. Guishard said forecasting was half meteorology and half communication and explained that without the proper means of communication, forecasting would be wasted if there was no way to share it with the public.  He added: "Bermuda is a very helpful nation when it comes to the cleanup of the aftermath. What we need is more work on the preparation."

 

Dr. Guishard has a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Sciences and a Masters in Atmospheric Sciences, both from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom. He completed a PhD in Meteorology from Penn.StateUniversity before joining the Bermuda Weather Service in 2006