A lifeline for Cruisers
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) hurricane centre monitors cyclones and disturbances in the Atlantic to predict if a depression will form into a storm. As soon as one develops, it’s trailed by planes, analysed from space, examined from the ocean and penetrated by drones and ‘dropsondes’ (weather reconnaissance devices). The data is put into models that predict the track and intensity of the storm, which can be days or weeks in advance of it progressing to a hurricane.
The National Hurricane Center website, run by NOAA, is a vital source of information to cruisers remaining in the Caribbean over hurricane season. It’s updated every six hours and issues a tropical storm or hurricane ‘watch’ 48 hours in advance, changing to a ‘warning’ 36 hours in advance of tropical-stormforce conditions. www.nhc.noaa.gov