Better safe than sorry

Better safe than sorry

What appears to be the first significant weather threat of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season (see related stories) is facing the Northeastern Caribbean. Thankfully, Tropical Storm Fiona had not greatly intensified and was forecast to pass some 75 miles south of St. Maarten.
That may be enough distance to be spared the worst of maximum sustained winds measured at 60mph and higher gusts. However, tropical storm force winds extended out up to 140 miles from the centre mainly to the north of the disturbance.
Compared to cyclones that stay northeast, those that pass southwest of the island generally have a bigger effect because the usually calm southern coastline is more vulnerable. Shorefront property and boat owners should keep such in mind.
Moreover, while Fiona is not a hurricane, tropical storms have made a considerable impact in the past.
But perhaps the best reason to take this warning seriously is the relative unpredictability of tropical systems that has been proven time and again. After all, any small shift in direction or change in strength could make a huge difference.
So, although some will no doubt disagree, the decision not to open schools today is prudent also considering experience with heavy rains and street flooding in the cul-de-sac valley where most are located. An early closure of government and businesses can also be expected.
Better safe than sorry.

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