Reason for Optimism – NOAA Issues Improved 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook

If there’s one thing the island of Saint Martin doesn’t lack, it’s optimism. Since Irma hit last September, the island has been unified in it’s quest to rebuild. And the idea isn’t to just regain it’s pre-Irma glory, it’s to be even better than it was before. It’s something that needs to be seen and experienced to really be understood. So, if you happen to be one of those people who hasn’t been back to the island since last September, I’d highly recommend making plans to get there as soon as you can. In fact, now may be the perfect time to go.

On August 9, 2018, the NOAA issued an improved Atlantic hurricane season outlook. Citing surface temperatures much cooler than normal caused by stronger wind shear, drier air, and increased atmospheric stability in the region, the NOAA is predicting a 60% likelihood of a below normal Atlantic hurricane season. That updated prediction also anticipates 0-2 major hurricanes in the region.

Of course, as much this improved outlook gives us a nice dose of optimism, the reality remains that we are approaching the most active part of hurricane season. So, while the region must remain vigilant and keenly aware of what may still be on the horizon, any improvement in the hurricane outlook is reason for a smile and a good bit of hope.

There’s a lot of rebuilding happening all around the island that, if the season passes with little to no major storms, has Saint Martin in a position to rebound gloriously in the upcoming high season. Of course, that means tourism could, and should, see a major spike compared to the 2017/18 high season. The local economy on the island needs that now more than ever.

If the forecasters at NOAA have it right, the next couple of months may be your last chance to see Saint Martin before it reclaims, and surpasses, it’s former glory, tourists and all. Having spent a lot of time there already this year, I can attest that this truly is a beautiful time to visit the island. In fact, now may be the perfect time to go.

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Jon Ferlise

I fell in love with the island of Saint Martin the first time I visited to celebrate my 40th birthday in May of 2009. Since then, I've spent most birthdays there, and have visited countless other times getting to know this wonderful place and the friendly locals that make it so special. I adore the culture, the people, the community, and the beauty of this stunning island. SXM Strong is a website that I started to support humanitarian relief efforts following Hurricane Irma. There was no plan, it just evolved as I witnessed the devastation that Irma caused the island and the huge need to communicate and disseminate information about what had happened and how people could help support this island and its people.

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