Archive | Climate/Weather


2021 Hurricane Message

by Premier, Hon. Joseph E. Farrell

Fellow Montserratians I extend warm greetings to all of you.

  As we begin the 2021 Atlantic Hurricane Season, I want us to take some time to reflect on the past year, and how we have been able to adapt to a world in which COVID-19 has dominated our everyday lives and actions.  It has also reinforced the need for us to take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and our families.

 As we enter the 2021 Hurricane Season, we have to ensure that our desire to protect ourselves and our families are amplified to include hurricane precautionary measures to protect not only human life but also our homes, our businesses, and our infrastructure.

The Atlantic Hurricane Season is constant each year; from June 1 to November 30 and Mother Nature does not pause to give us a break because we have been dealing with other matters such as the COVID-19 pandemic; and so, we should not be complacent as it relates to hurricane preparedness. 

The predictions are for another active hurricane season, and while God’s favour and mercies have spared us over the past few years from any direct impact, I urge you to not let down your guard.  Regardless of the level of activity predicted, I want to remind you that it only takes one hurricane to directly impact us and seriously affect us.

Some of us might believe that a hurricane is not a real threat or assume that we will be spared because we have not been directly affected in recent years.  But, I strongly urge you to take all precautionary measures to safeguard your families, businesses and communities.

The Government’s work to protect lives and livelihoods continue, and even as we maintain our efforts on COVID-19, we have also been actively preparing for this hurricane season.  In fact, the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) has been working with key stakeholders, prior to the start of the hurricane season to ensure steps are taken to prepare for any eventuality.

Our government Ministries and departments have been updating their hurricane plans and work to protect our infrastructure has already started as the Public Works Department has been clearing our waterways to reduce the likelihood of flooding.

As I do every year, I encourage you to:

  • Follow the advice from officials at the Disaster Management Coordination Agency (DMCA) – they are our experts in disaster preparedness and response.
  • Stay informed by monitoring communication channels for official information from Government.
  • Update your hurricane preparedness plans for your family and your business. Everyone in your family or business should know what to do and where to go if impacted, and;
  • Pack essential supplies in an Emergency Kit.—Supplies should include non-perishable food and water for everyone in your home, medications, sanitisers, face-covering, items for personal hygiene and batteries.

I encourage you to remember those in your communities who are not as mobile as you are and need your assistance, the vulnerable, elderly and persons with disabilities, please lend them a helping hand.

Do stay safe and look out for each other. 

May God bless and protect us.

June 1, 2021

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21 ultramarathon runners killed by extreme weather in China

21 ultramarathon runners killed by extreme weather in China

By Chaffin Mitchell, AccuWeather staff writer

May. 24, 2021 – Copied

Of 172 runners participating in an ultramarathon through northwest China on Saturday, 21 were killed when severe weather swept through the area.

Freezing rain, hail, and high winds killed 21 ultramarathon runners, including two of China’s elite marathon athletes, during a 62-mile cross-country mountain race in northwest China, local officials reported on Sunday.

“A front moved through the area and that could have caused those strong winds and hail to happen,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Robert Richards said.

The extreme weather struck Saturday afternoon in a high-altitude section of the race held in the Yellow River Stone Forest in northwest Gansu province, Yahoo reported.

“In a short period of time, hailstones and ice rain suddenly fell in the local area, and there were strong winds. The temperature sharply dropped,” Baiyin City Mayor Zhang Xuchen said.

China Xinhua News @XHNews · May 23 China state-affiliated media The death toll has risen to 21 after extreme weather hit a 100-km cross-country mountain marathon race in northwest China’s Gansu

There were a total of 172 participants in the race, the other 151 have been rescued and are now safe, according to official news agency Xinhua.

Some of the runners suffered from hypothermia, and Zhang said earlier that eight people were being treated for minor injuries and were in stable condition, Xinhua reported.

“My whole body was soaked through, including my shoes and socks. I couldn’t stand up straight because of the wind, I was very worried I’d be blown over. The cold became more and more unbearable,” one survivor was quoted in local media.

Marathon organizers dispatched a massive rescue team with more than 1,200 rescuers assisted by thermal-imaging drones, radar detectors and demolition equipment after receiving messages for help from the participants, according to Reuters.

At around 2 p.m. local time, weather conditions worsened and the race was called off, Zhang said.

The deaths have sparked public outrage over the lack of contingency planning.

“Why didn’t the government read the weather forecast and do a risk assessment?” one commentator wrote. “This is totally a manmade calamity. Even if the weather is unexpected, where were the contingency plans?”

Baiyin officials bowed and apologized at a news briefing saying they were saddened by the tragic deaths of the runners and that they were to be blamed, Reuters reported.

“As the event’s organizer, we feel a deep sense of guilt and self-blame, express our deep mourning for the victims and deep condolences to their families and the injured runners,” Zhang said.

“The weather appears to be dry for the next few days there,” Richards said.

Related: Drone gives stunning bird’s-eye view of erupting volcano It’s been 10 years since the deadly Joplin tornado Extreme weather leaves city looking like winter wonderland on 80-degree day

Keep checking back on and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier, Spectrum, FuboTV, Philo, and Verizon Fios.

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Ana becomes first named system of 2021 in Atlantic

By Jake Sojda, AccuWeather meteorologist & Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist

Published May. 22, 2021

It begins. The official start to hurricane season is more than a week away, but the first-named storm of the season formed early Saturday morning as Subtropical Storm Ana took shape over the Atlantic Ocean, east of Bermuda. AccuWeather forecasters had been monitoring an area of low pressure since early in the week and on Saturday, the system organized and was packing sustained winds of 45 mph.

Satellite view of Ana pinwheeling in the Atlantic northeast of Bermuda Saturday afternoon, May 22. (RAMMB/CIRA)

Ana developed 200 miles northeast of Bermuda early Saturday morning. As of Saturday afternoon, Ana is slowly moving northeast at around 5 mph.

Friday, before it reached tropical storm strength, the area of low pressure being watched was dubbed Invest 90L by the National Hurricane Center. A second area with the potential for further tropical development, known as Invest 91L, became better organized early Friday in the western Gulf of Mexico before moving inland over Texas early Saturday morning and ending its chances for development.

Satellite showed clouds becoming more organized around the center of low-pressure east of Bermuda early Friday, May 21, 2021, indicating the development of tropical characteristics. (RAMMB/CIRA)

Since Invest 90L strengthened, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) named it Ana, the first name on the list of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season.

Ana developed from a system that earlier this week was a non-tropical storm associated with a pocket of cool air high up in the atmosphere. However, occasionally, over time, features such as this can acquire tropical characteristics, provided ocean water is warm enough to allow such a transition. When this happens, subtropical depressions or storms can be named by the NHC.

AccuWeather meteorologists do not expect Ana to develop into anything stronger than its current status. However, as it brushes Bermuda, breezy conditions with showers are likely to impact the island nation.

“Heavier rain and stronger winds will stay to the northeast of the islands,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty explained.

The flurry of activity comes a year after the Atlantic hurricane season, which later turned hyperactive, began early with two systems developing before June 1.

Tropical Storm Arthur formed southeast of Florida on May 16 last year, and Tropical Storm Bertha was named after a non-tropical system rapidly strengthened over the western Atlantic, off the Georgia coast, on May 27. The tropical storm crashed ashore near Isle of Palms, South Carolina, a few hours after forming. Bertha unleashed locally flooding rainfall and dangerous rip currents and surf along the coast.

The 2020 season went on to become the busiest on record with 30 named systems. There were so many storms that the Greek alphabet was tapped to name nine different systems once the pre-designated list of names for the season had been exhausted — a naming convention that will no longer be used by the National Hurricane Center (NHC). A record 11 tropical systems made landfall in the United States in 2020.

The last time the name Ana was used to name an Atlantic storm, it was given to another pre-season storm that developed in the basin. In 2015, a subtropical storm formed from a non-tropical system — in a manner similar to how Ana formed — north of the Bahamas. The system went on to strengthen into a tropical storm while over the warm waters of the Gulf Stream on May 9 about 130 miles southeast of Myrtle Beach. It made landfall near North Myrtle Beach in South Carolina the next day.

In 2012, Tropical Storm Beryl also followed a similar evolution from a non-tropical system, becoming the earliest B-named storm when it became a subtropical storm on May 26. The next day it transitioned into a tropical storm and then made landfall near Jacksonville, Florida, on May 28. With maximum sustained winds of 65 mph at landfall, Beryl was the strongest out-of-season tropical cyclone to make landfall in the United States.

In any event, direct impact on the U.S. is not expected with Ana.


Ana is expected to be pulled northward and absorbed by a non-tropical system that is forecast to emerge from the southeastern coast of Canada early next week.

Many may wonder whether the early signs of development could signal a busy season ahead, since a similar trend occurred in 2020, and AccuWeather forecasters say there may be some echoes and similar trends to last year, albeit with less non-stop action.

“We are expecting another very busy Atlantic hurricane season for 2021,” Kottlowski said.

“There is the potential for more than 20 named storms this season in the Atlantic with three to five impacts anticipated in the U.S,” Kottlowski said.

Several tropical systems may continue to churn over the basin from mid-October through November, which is a time when tropical conditions typically diminish. How active the season gets or remains may depend on the return of La Niña.

La Niña is part of a cycle of water temperatures in the tropical Pacific that oscillates between warm and cool patterns. When waters are cooler than average over the tropical Pacific, known as La Niña, the Atlantic is often more active than average in terms of tropical activity. On the other hand, when waters are warmer than average over the tropical Pacific, known as El Niño, the Atlantic is often less active than average.

Currently, water temperatures are relatively close to average over the tropical Pacific, with a neutral phase present. Conditions are expected to remain in this state well into the summer season before a La Niña pattern may develop again. The timing of that transition will be key to just how active the season becomes.

Back in late March of this year, AccuWeather’s team of tropical weather experts, led by Kottlowski, released its annual forecast for the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. The team predicted 16-20 named storms, including seven to 10 hurricanes. Of the storms projected to reach hurricane strength, three to five are expected to become major hurricanes — Category 3 or higher storms that have maximum sustained winds of 111 mph or greater.

Related: New study exposes multi-billion dollar factor in Superstorm Sandy’s destruction One city slammed by hurricanes in 2020 is working ahead to prepare US to face above-normal strikes from tropical systems in 2021… again Greek alphabet will no longer be used to name hurricanes

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St. Vincent and the Grenadines volcano erupts, prompts thousands to evacuate – an update


By Courtney Travis, AccuWeather senior meteorologist

Updated Apr. 12, 2021, 7:48 AM AST Copied

Hours after an initial eruption of the La Soufriere volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, a second explosion was reported, resulting in a massive plume of smoke and ash.

The largest volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent erupted on Friday in spectacular fashion, sending an ash plume shooting an estimated 52,000 feet into the atmosphere and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Through the weekend, much of the island was covered in ash from the eruptions that continued on through Friday night. By Sunday night, eruptions were firing up again as conditions worsened.

Dozens of residents required rescuing from the northern part of the island as the new dangers place even more islanders at risk.

A man rides his bicycle along the main Black Rock road, covered with ash coming from the eruption of La Soufriere volcano in the neighboring island of St. Vincent, on the outskirts of Bridgetown, Barbados, Sunday, April 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris Brandis)

Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, said during a Sunday night news conference that there is evidence of pyroclastic flows, the rush of super-heated gas and debris traveling down the mountainside as fast as 120 miles per hour, in the areas around the volcano, NPR reported.

“These flows are really moving masses of destruction,” Robertson said. “They just destroy everything in its path. Even if you have the strongest house in the world, they will just bulldoze it off the ground.”

The abrupt eruptions continued to launch debris and a cloud of ash into the air throughout Sunday night, leaving its remnants scattered throughout the island.

On Saturday, he said the roughly 110,000 residents of St. Vincent, many of whom have already sought refuge on other islands, should expect to see the largest blast of their lifetimes in the coming days

“The explosive eruption has started and it is possible you could have more explosions like these,” he said during a press conference on Saturday, according to NPR. “The first one is not necessarily the worst one, the first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang this volcano will give.”

Very early Sunday morning, the National Emergency Management Organization of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (NEMO SVG) said on Twitter that a “massive power outage” was underway following another “explosive event” of the volcano. The island-wide power outage began just after 1 a.m., local time, on Sunday morning as loud rumblings continued to emit from the volcano, according to News 784 in St. Vincent.

The Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves said water supplies to most of the island had been cut off and its airspace had been closed due to the smoke and plumes of volcanic ash moving through the atmosphere, according to the BBC.

St. Vincent is a volcanic island located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean and is home to La Soufrière, its largest volcano.

Around 8:30 a.m., local time, on Friday, the volcano underwent what the scientists at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Center called an “explosive eruption,” spewing ash high into the air.

The NEMO SVG reported later in the morning that the ash plume had reached about 5 miles (8 km) into the air, and ash had fallen at Argyle International Airport. A NOAA-SSEC satellite estimated that the ash traveled an astonishing 52,000 feet into the atmosphere, or about 10 miles up.

Photo from the explosive eruption that occurred at La Soufriere, SVG at 8:41 a.m. local time. Ash has begun to fall on the flanks of the volcano and surrounding communities including Chateaubelair and Petite Bordel. (Photo/UWI Seismic ReasearchCentre)

The explosion of ash was so large that it was visible from space on weather satellites. Southwesterly winds carried the cloud of ash over northern parts of St. Vincent and over the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean between the islands of Saint Lucia and Barbados.

NEMO reported that the ash was extending at least 20,000 feet (more than 6 km) to the northeast of the volcano.

This GOES-16 true-color satellite loop shows what the La Soufriere volcano eruption looked like from space on the morning of April 9, 2021 (GOES-16/NOAA)

Geologist Richard Robertson told News 784 in St. Vincent on Friday that the volcano had returned to a quieter period, but more eruptions are expected to follow.

A second eruption occurred later Friday evening, NEMO reported, jettisoning ash over 2 miles into the atmosphere.

Ash venting resumed at La Soufrière at around 2:45 p.m. local time, the UWI Seismic Research Center reported Friday evening, and lightning could be seen in the ash column. Continuous tremors have been recorded since 3 p.m., and the center noted that the volcano continues its explosive phase which may last several days to weeks.

Friday afternoon, lightning was visible in the volcano’s ash column due to its highly charged nature. (Photo/UWI Seismic Research Centre)

”If there is a much bigger explosion, the ash can spread further to the south,“ Robertson said, adding that, “This could continue for days or weeks, and monitoring will continue.”

The UWI Seismic Research Center first noticed gases spewing from the dome of the volcano on Thursday morning.

As seismic activity continued and became more intense, with magma visible near the surface later on Thursday, the country’s National Emergency Management Organization raised the island’s alert level from orange to red, according to NPR, meaning that eruption was considered “imminent”.

Smoke spews from the glowing dome of the La Soufriere volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday, April 8, 2021 (right), and the resulting eruption (left) on Friday, April 9, 2021. (Photos/The UWI Seismic Research Centre)

Around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Gonsalves announced in a press conference the evacuation order for residents in “red zones” on the northeast and northwest sides of the island.

This evacuation includes roughly 16,000 people on the island, according to WFAA, a WABC affiliate in Dallas, Texas.

Government-led evacuations immediately began, but they were to be assisted by nearby cruise line ships, arriving Friday, to help get people to safety.

However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, evacuations are more complicated than usual.


Gonsalves said in his press conference that people have to be vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship or to go to another island. The minister also highly recommended those taking shelter in Saint Vincent be vaccinated.

Flights were cancelled at the Argyle International Airport on St. Vincent as well as the Grantley Adams International Airport on the nearby island of Barbados on Saturday, further complicating evacuation efforts.

Even on Friday morning, fresh magma near the surface of the volcano left the sky aglow.

According to CNN, the La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent has had five explosive eruptions in the past, with the most recent being 1979. There was, however, an uptick in seismic activity more recently in December of 2020.

Gonsalves urged people to be patient and continue to take precautions as experts warned that explosive eruptions from the volcano could continue for days or even weeks, NBC News reported.

In an interview with NBC Radio, Gonsalves said that it could take up to four months for life to return to normal, depending on the extent of the damage. He added that agriculture will be badly affected.

In extremely powerful volcanic eruptions, the ash and aerosols released in the eruption can pass through the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, and penetrate into the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere.

If enough of the ash and other pollutants released in the eruption make it into the stratosphere, they can influence the climate around the globe. The boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere is about 6 miles (10 km) above the ground, a little higher than where commercial jets typically fly.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, CARICOM, Climate/Weather, Climate/Weather, COVID-19, Environment, Featured, Features, International, Local, News, OECS, Photos, Regional, Volcano0 Comments

No photo description available.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was preparing for the eruption of La Soufriere volcano

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, preparing for the eruption of La Soufriere volcano


 28th March 2021

National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO)




  1. The seismic tremor generated by voluminous energetic venting of La Soufrière Volcano continued overnight.

Volcanic Hazard Zones

April 2021 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Weather Forecast

Meteorological Services, Argyle

10 April 2021

10 April 2021

Press/News Release

No photo description available.

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Senators come together to make daylight saving time permanent

Senators come together to make daylight saving time permanent


Sarah K. Burris – March 09, 2021

Senators come together to make daylight saving time permanent

Marco Rubio (MSNBC/Screenshot)

Year after year, particularly in the spring and fall Americans lament Daylight Saving Time, an antiquated way of adjusting the time to help preserve as much light as possible. Many believe it was due to the U.S. agrarian society, but according to the History Channel’s factoids, the agriculture industry actually opposed it.

Germany was the first country to implement the idea on April 30, 1916, and the U.S. first did it in 1918, with Congress attempting to repeal it in 1919.

“Rather than rural interests, it has been urban entities such as retail outlets and recreational businesses that have championed daylight saving over the decades,” said Tired of ads? Want to support our progressive journalism? Click to learn more.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cindy Hide-Smith (R-MS), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Ed Markey (D-MA) are all endorsing the Sunshine Protection Act, according to a release. Fifteen states have changed their Daylight Saving Time rules and dozens more are also considering doing it. States include Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

The time was once isolated to just a few states, but now that there are more states it can create more confusion. The growing list of states is causing more problems as Americans start traveling again and have no idea whether a state is observing the time change or not.

See the release below:


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Grand Opening - M&D's Green Market



A Moment with the Registrar of Lands