Hurricane activity

Huricane Tracking System by Esri | Preparation and prevention tips


Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten:

• Suivi du phénomène en cours.
• Conseils d’information et de prévention.

ANTICIPATE THE RISK OF A HURRICANE

The Caribbean arc, including St. Martin, is exposed to tropical cyclones which are likely to form in the Atlantic zone. Between June and November, populations are therefore called to prepare themselves for the eventuality of such a meteorological phenomenon, even if major devastating hurricanes are rare

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: photo of a hurricane or a cycloneThe prefecture of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy as well as the Overseas Territorial Collectivities work together every year to prepare the population for cyclone risks. The local media (print, television, radio) are closely associated with public information, which disseminates the instructions in time. In order to prepare you for a possible cyclonic phenomenon, you are invited to consult their websites and their respective social networking pages, which offer up-to-date information on the approach of a phenomenon.

WHAT A HURRICANE IS…

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: formation of a hurricane or cyclone

A hurricane or cyclone is a disturbance that is born under the influence of the strong heat associated with the very hot waters of the tropical latitudes. It is therefore linked to a significant drop in atmospheric pressure, which is characterized by a spiral structure. Torrential rains and high winds are likely to cause significant damage.
In the West Indies, the cyclone season begins on June 1st and closes on November 30th. The peak of hurricane activity is generally between 15 August and 15 October, the sea being the hottest at that time.

For the North Atlantic area, which also includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, cyclones occur mostly between Africa and the West Indies via an east-to-west or north-west movement.

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: For the Caribbean Sea, hurricanes or cyclones occur between Africa and the West Indies

 

For the North Atlantic area, which also includes the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, cyclones occur mostly between Africa and the West Indies via an east-to-west or north-west movement.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT INTENSITY LEVELS

The cyclone season actually sees several meteorological phenomena which vary according to their intensity, which is determined by the force of the wind. All tropical cyclones begin with a depression that can intensify, stagnate, downshift or dissolve, depending on the conditions encountered during its Atlantic trajectory. It is therefore important to follow the evolution of each phenomenon on a daily basis.

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: tropical depressionA tropical depression involves winds blowing at less than 39 miles / hour. When it is being formed off the coast of Africa, it is therefore a phenomenon to be monitored closely given the risk of evolution. A tropical wave that would affect the Caribbean lands can generate significant cumulative rainfall.

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: stormA storm can generate sustained winds of up to 72 miles / hour and heavy cumulative rainfall. Dwellings and vegetation do not suffer any real damage, but the risks of flooding and landslides call for vigilance. Boaters must secure their boats. A storm that crosses the Caribbean arc can turn into a hurricane, even when approaching the land.

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: hurricane category 1Hurricane category 1
It is a cyclone whose winds blow from 73 to 95 miles / hour and generates a storm surge (sea level rise near the coast) of 3,93 to 4,92 feet. While there is still no risk for large structures, light dwellings, roadsigns, signboards and vegetation are impacted. Badly moored boats can be seriously damaged. This type of phenomenon is dangerous for the poorly sheltered. Risks of power cuts and water cuts.

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: hurricane category 2Hurricane category 2
The wind speed is between 95 and 109 miles / hour on average, the storm surge from 5,90 to 7,87 feet. This level of intensity can cause structural damage to the building (openings, roofs) and heavy damage to light dwellings, roadsigns and signboards. Trees can be uprooted. Risks of electricity cuts and water cuts over several days. Coastal infrastructures (roads, marinas …) are particularly exposed. Roads can be impassable for several days.

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: hurricane category 3Hurricane category 3
From this level of intensity we speak of a major hurricane. The wind speed is between 110 and 130 miles / hour, the storm surge is 2,7 to 12,13 feet. Light dwellings and roofs can be torn off. Dwellings suffer significant damage to openings. The vegetation is devastated. Flooding and mudslides can carry some constructions. Floating debris can cause significant damage.

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: hurricane category 4Hurricane category 4
Winds blow from 131 to 156 miles / hour on average, the storm surge rises from 13,12 to 18,04 feet on the coast. Flooding, mudflows, waves and floating debris are causing considerable damage, particularly to single-storey and lower-floor buildings. This type of cyclone causes significant erosion of beaches. All lightweight constructions, roadsigns, signboards as well as unprotected vehicles are experiencing considerable damage.

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: hurricane category 5Hurricane category 5
This is the highest intensity on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The winds blow at over 156 miles / hour, the storm surge is over 18,04 feet. Emergency evacuations can be organized when such a phenomenon threatens the populations.

Liens utiles

WHAT THE ALERTS MEAN

As cyclones approach, four warning levels | YELLOW | ORANGE | RED | PURPLE | indicate the behavior to be observed in order to properly prepare and observe the appropriate safety measures. Their detailed instructions are to be read on the site of the prefecture of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy or on the website of the Collectivity of Saint-Martin.

WHAT TO ANTICIPATE

Every year the cyclone season involves to anticipate the preparations in reserving the days before the arrival of a possible phenomenon to the most urgent actions:

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: establish stocks of dry foodestablish stocks of dry food, baby milk powder, biscuits; stock a drinking water supply for at least 4 days and a bottle of bleach; providing food for domestic animals;

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: store all tools that may be used during or after a cyclonestore all tools that may be used during or after a cyclone: ​​saw, nails, hammer, ax, tarpaulins, mops, buckets, candles, electric lamps, lighters or matches, plywood, first aid kit, radio and battery supply;

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: follow the maintenance of the house roof follow the maintenance of the house roof to reduce wind effects, ensure that gullies close to your house are cleaned and that trees are regularly pruned;

Hurricane Activity in St. Martin and Sint Maarten: list of cyclone sheltersat the beginning of the cyclone season, carefully store all the information disclosed by the Coleectivity and the prefecture, including a list of cyclone shelters for people who do not feel safe in their dwelling.

WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND

Over the past 40 years, Saint-Martin has been regularly impacted by phenomena that have more or less marked the spirits according to their gravity. The most fatal of these was Luis, a category 5, major hurricane in 1995.

The “bombing” of Irma

Eleven victims, a cataclysmic landscape, and an island to rebuild. This is the sad toll left by hurricane Irma whose eye approaches Saint-Martin on September 6, 2017, around two o’clock in the morning. With constant wind speeds of more than 295 km / h and bursts of 360 km / h, the most powerful phenomenon ever observed on the Lesser Antilles is meticulously shredding the lands placed on the direct trajectory of this major hurricane with unprecedented impact.

A TERRIBLE TRAUMA FOR THE POPULATION

A terrible trauma for the population, including those who had already known Luis. The ravages that affect 95% of public and private buildings, are grafted difficult after enamelled scenes of looting sometimes violent and living conditions heavily altered by the lack of drinking water, electricity and communication difficulties. 8000 voluntary departures were recorded in the days following the hurricane, priority having been given to sick people and women accompanied by young children. The cataclysm caused by Irma has required significant relief resources mobilized by the government through an air bridge between St. Martin on the one hand, Guadeloupe and Martinique on the other. For the moment, the island faces another challenge: a colossal site of reconstruction.

The Cataclysm Luis

On Tuesday, September 5th 1995, in the early morning, a category-5 hurricane struck Saint-Martin, announcing a total disaster. Such a catastrophe had not occurred since 1960 and Hurricane Donna. All those who crossed the road to Luis keep in mind this fatal day which foreshadowed the passage of a phenomenon of more than 372 miles in diameter, awakening the swell 48 hours before its arrival. The phenomenon on the approach foreshadowed 36 hours of confinement for the population and gusts of wind swollen up to 155 miles / hour at the height of the storm.

A LANDSCAPE OF DESOLATION

After its passage, Luis left behind a landscape of desolation offering the spectacle of collapsed buildings, totally shaved vegetation, torn roofs and a shocked population. Many deaths were to be deplored especially among populations of clandestine immigrants settled in rudimentary barracks. Ten days later, the second stroke of destiny, St. Martin again faced the onslaught of cyclone Marylin. The damage of these two episodes amounted to some 300 million francs. The island will take a long time to recover. Cyclone Luis marked the end of a flourishing era and an accelerated – and not always controlled – development that was initiated by the first laws of tax exemption in the early 1980s.

September 17th 1989
Hugo, category 4

September 5th 1995
Luis, Major Hurricane – Category 5

September 14th 1995
Marylin, category 1, 10 days after Luis

July 8th 1996
Bertha, category 1 to 2

September 6th 1997
Érika, category 1

September 20th 1998
Effects of Cyclone Georges, category 4 on Guadeloupe

October 21st 1999
Cyclone José (category 2), full of water, floods Saint-Martin

November 18th 1999
Lenny, category 2

August 22nd 2000
Debby, category 1

October 15th/16th 2008
Omar, category 2

August 29th 2010
Earl, passes at 31 miles from the northern islands in category 3

October 7th 2010
Exceptional precipitation is falling due to the passage of Otto storm to the northwest. The island had not experienced such cumulative effects since 1999.

October 13th 2014
Gonzalo, category 1 to 2