Present weather situation and forecasts for St. Maarten :
Please find below some websites with up-to-date information and tracking maps on Tropical waves and Hurricanes as well as a site with step-by-step tips for before, during and after a tropical-related storm(s) or hurricane(s):
Weather Service of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba - http://www.meteo.an
Weather Underground - http://www.wunderground.com/tropical
Caribbean Hurricane Network - http://www.stormcarib.com
National Hurricane Center - http://www.nhc.noaa.gov
SXM Cyclone - http://www.sxmcyclone.com
Step-by-step tips for before, during and after a storm - http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/content/storm/getready
The North Atlantic hurricane season starts on June 1 and ends on November 30, with the most active months being September and October. However in the last few years which have been very active, we have seen some very early and very late season hurricanes, from Bertha in July '96 to Lenny in November of '99.
St. Maarten has been hit 6 times by hurricanes in the last 20 seasons, 3 of those being major hurricanes. It started in '95 with Luis and Marilyn, Bertha in '96, Georges in '98 and Jose and Lenny in '99. Besides causing major wind damage St. Maarten has been experiencing major flood and slide damage, some thing that we were not used to on the Friendly Island.
Hurricanes develop from a variety of tropical weather disturbances and pass through several increasinlgy intense phases classified as:
Once becoming a hurricane they are again categorized according to windspeed (wind barometric pressure) in the socalled Saffir-Simpson intensity scale:
A category three and higher hurricane is considered a major hurricane.
When a tropical depresson becomes a Tropical Storm they are named. There is a list of names that covers 5 years and will be used on a rotational basis. When more storms develop in a given year than the number of names in the relevant list, the Greek alphabet (Alpha, Beta etc.) will be used to name the subsequent systems. If a storm acquires special noteriety because of its strength, deaths, damage or special reasons, its name may be withdrawn at the request of any member of the agreement at the session of the RA IV Hurricane Committee.