Although the official hurricane season for the Atlantic runs from June 1 – November 30, in Puerto Rico the most active months tend to be August and September. This year (2015) in particular, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has predicted a below-normal season to be very likely. In fact, it called for 90% chance of a below-normal season – this is the highest probability given by NOAA for any such season since it began its hurricane outlooks in 1998.
Keep in mind that these predictions are for the entire Atlantic region, not just Puerto Rico, but essentially, it means that we are not likely to see more than 1 major hurricane this season. This would be a record low number of hurricanes for the region.
Even though major hurricanes are not particularly common in Puerto Rico, this is still very good news.
However, we do need rain. Puerto Rico (and especially northeastern Puerto Rico) has been suffering from a severe drought this summer. San Juan area has been forced into drastic water restrictions because the reservoirs are so low. In certain areas, water is rationed on a schedule of 48 hours OFF and 24 hours ON. As you can imagine, that is very impactful on the lives of local residents and businesses in the affected areas.
We just went through hurricane Danny that by the time it reached Puerto Rico was downgraded to a Tropical Depression, and produced only thunderstorms and a little bit of rain – not nearly enough to help the drought conditions on the island.
Here is a video from the Luquillo Mountains of Danny when it came through:
Now we are gearing up for Erika, which currently is rated as a Tropical Storm with 45 mile/hour winds and is just approaching the Leeward Islands (northern islands of the Lesser Antilles chain). It is expected to lose some of its strength before it gets to Puerto Rico but we hope it will bring us the much-needed rain.
Assuming it doesn’t change course or speed, it will be here some time tomorrow, Thursday 8/26/15.
We will post more info if there are new developments.