Hurricane Matthew rushes towards Caribbean nations

Category 4 hurricane with a wind speed of 240km/hr is storming its way towards the Caribbean nations primarily Haiti, Jamaica and possibly Cuba. It is based 360 miles south-southwest Port-au-Prince, Haiti and 385 miles southeast of Kingston. The storm has intensified into a Category 5 storm thus qualifying as the strongest hurricane in the region since Felix in 2007. The authorities have ordered the evacuation of Guantanamo Bay especially the threatened areas as the hurricane is expected to hit the US Navy Base at Guantanamo Bay soon. As per the latest reports from the US National Hurricane Center in Miami, the hurricane has cooled off from its peak wind velocity of 260 km/hr to 240 km/hr which is still quite destructive. Jamaica falls between 90 percent effect band of the room.

The Hurricane is expected to bring on heavy rains between 25cm to 38 cm with intermittent peaks of about 63 cm. There have been warnings by the protection officials of highly threatening conditions due to the approaching hurricane. High speed winds can potentially destroy main tourist areas in Jamaica including the much visited Montego Bay in the northern side. People have stocked piles of food and water. Matthew is expected to be the most powerful storm ever since the records began. The last major storm recorded in the region was Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Jamaica was however most damaged by Hurricane Gilbert in 1988. Matthew is also expected to hit Cuba, Bahamas and South Florida later in the week.

Hurricane Season in Atlantic

The 2016 Hurricane Season in Atlantic signifies the frequency of tropical cyclones to be experienced in North Atlantic Ocean. Officially the season started on June 1 and will come to a close on November 30. The season however began in January only with Hurricane Alex. It was followed by a tropical storms Bonnie in May, Collin and Danielle in June, Hurricane Earl in August, Hurricane Hermine in September and now Hurricane Matthew which is the first Category 5 Hurricane since Felix. The season is not usual as it has a deadly combination of various factors like an approaching transition to La Nina and hotter surface temperatures in Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and Western Atlantic.  The Atlantic Hurricane Season between 1981 and 2010 has twelve tropical storms, 6 hurricanes and about 2 major hurricanes with Accumulated Cyclone Energy index between 66 and 103 units.  ACE is used to denote activity and destructive potential of individual tropical cyclones and even entire tropical cyclone seasons. In a season, ACE is the sum of the ACE for each storm and takes into account the duration, number and strength of the storms in the season.

Caribbean Climate

The climate of the Caribbean countries is primarily tropical which is finally limited by the northeast trade winds. The climatic conditions depend on the elevation. Hurricanes form a routine feature of the entire Caribbean region majorly during the summer months with high temperature of the sea surface and a considerable drop in air pressures.  Such conditions give shape to an eye 20 kms wide. This leads to a sharp pressure gradient which generates wind speed of 110-280 kms/hour.

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