A near normal hurricane season has been predicted for the 2023 Atlantic hurricane season.

The hurricane season opened on Thursday, June 1 and will run until November 30 2023. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predicts a forty percent chance of a near-normal season, a thirty percent chance of an above-normal season and a thirty percent chance of a below-normal season.

This year, the NOAA expects twelve to seventeen named storms, with nine expected hurricanes with four of them major hurricanes.

 “June 1 marks the start of the hurricane season. The experts have predicted a near normal Atlantic hurricane season with 12 to 17 named storms in 2023. Of those five to nine could become hurricanes and four could become major hurricanes. I do not know why they call it near normal because one is too many for four becoming major hurricanes,” PM Skerrit stated.

Prime Minister Skerrit urged citizens to ensure that they are prepared for any event to safeguard their lives, families and property.

“In Dominica we are also hurricane experts in the sense that we know all too well that it only takes one devastating event to shatter livelihoods and cause major upheaval to our lives. I wish therefore to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of early preparedness which strengthens your ability to respond if we are impacted by a major storm. I won’t spend time this morning listing the measures which you can take as this will be done by the relevant government departments over the next days and throughout the hurricane season; only to encourage you to remain alert and take the necessary steps to safeguard your families and properties,” he explained.

The Prime Minister stated that Government will continue to do all it can to ensure that citizens remain safe in the event of a major storm.

 “The Government of Dominica has demonstrated its commitment to keeping you safe by increasing shelter capacity, strengthening response mechanism at the community level, introducing new buildings codes to ensure safer more resilient structures and increasing awareness of disaster risk and response among our population. As is customary the National Emergency Planning Organization (NIPO) has been activated and the government of Dominica stands ready to help you navigate the hurricane season as we have always done. Let us all pray for the best but keep our guards up,” PM Skerrit added.

This year, the named storms include Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Don, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harold, Idalia, Jose, Katia, Lee, Margot, Nigel, Ophelia, Philippe, Rina, Sean, Tammy, Vince and Whitney.