To be taken seriously

To be taken seriously

A broad low-pressure system approaching the Eastern Caribbean did not yet have a well-defined centre of circulation up to Monday evening, but atmospheric circumstances were expected to be more conducive for development. The Meteorological Department of St. Maarten (MDS) called on the public to monitor the disturbance and complete preparations, as advisories could be issued, while Fire/Office of Disaster Management (OMD) Chief Clive Richardson spoke of a possible storm watch as well as small craft, flash flood and severe winds advisories.

Locally heavy rains and gusty conditions are to start affecting the island chain from Wednesday. As always, particularly wind and sea impact depend on size, proximity, exact track, speed, and strength. Although a large disturbance, what will probably become Tropical Storm Isaias may simply not have enough time to intensify into a hurricane or in any case a major one before it reaches the general local area as various preliminary forecast track models indicate.

However, tropical systems have seemingly been known to occasionally defy logic, as if only to emphasise that they are a force of nature. Accurately predicting such weather phenomena remains a challenge despite all technical advances.

So, the smart money is still on hoping for the best but getting ready for the worst. Authorities and most residents no doubt already know, but newcomers too need to understand that this is a threat to be taken seriously.