ISDR Informs - The Americas

Hurricane Season 2007

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that this will be an active season, with between 13 and 17 tropical storms, of which 7 to 10 could become hurricanes.

The Pacific hurricane season runs from May 15 to November 30. Based on studies about the oceanographic and atmospheric conditions in the region until May, it was concluded that the Northeastern Pacific hurricane season will be below the 1970-2006 average, with some 14 potential tropical systems, of which 7 would reach tropical storm intensity, 6 would become moderate hurricanes and 1 would be an intense hurricane.

Names of tropical cyclones that will be used during the 2007 season, based on the WMO RA-IV Hurricane Operational Plan.

Every year, a list of potential names is prepared for the upcoming hurricane season. The list contains a name for each letter of the alphabet (except for the letters Q, U, X, Y and Z, which are not included due to the relatively few names that begin with these letters). The lists are also recycled every six years and names are replaced when a hurricane name is ‘retired.’ Destructive hurricanes have their names retired and they are replaced by a new name that begins with the same letter.

Atlantic: Andrea, Barry, Chantal, Dean, Erin, Felix, Gabrielle, Humberto, Ingrid, Jerry, Karen, Lorenzo, Melissa, Noel, Olga, Pablo, Rebekah, Sebastian, Tanya, Van, and Wendy.

Pacific: Alvin, Barbara, Cosme, Dalila, Erick, Flossie, Gil, Henriette, Ivo, Juliette, Kiko, Lorena, Manuel, Narda, Octave, Priscilla, Raymod, Sonia, Tico, Velma, and Wallis


The Red Cross is ready for the 2007 Hurricane Season

In America, humanitarian aid organizations, including the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), are getting ready for what could be a busy hurricane season. According to the experts, during the 2007 season, which is expected to run until the end of November, there could be up to 16 storms with their own names, of which eight could become hurricanes. In the North Atlantic, the hurricane season officially started on June 1; however, Andrea, the first subtropical storm of this year, had already formed off the southeastern US coast.

Stephen McAndrew, head of the IFRC Pan-American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU), stated that the challenge facing the Red Cross during this season is to remind the population about the importance of being prepared. He explained that, “since 2006 was an average hurricane season, we are concerned that people will lower their guard and will not prepare adequately for this season.”

Mr. McAndrew also stressed that “experience shows that preparedness saves lives. From evacuation plans to the storage of drinking water, food and blankets in areas that might be affected, the better humanitarian aid organizations are prepared, the safer communities and individuals will be in the long run.”

In preparation for the hurricane season, representatives of the International Federation and the 25 national Red Cross societies in Central America and the Caribbean met in Panama City to address disaster preparedness measures. For the first time, the Red Cross has a regional contingency and response plan in place in order to cope with emergencies that might arise during the hurricane season. In the past, the plans were developed at the national level.

Delegates from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), the Spanish International Cooperation Agency (AECI), and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) were also in attendance at the Panama meeting.

Currently, the IFRC Pan-American Disaster Response Unit, whose headquarters is in Panama, has the capacity to fulfill the basic needs of approximately 125,000 people, should a disaster take place. Supplies include kitchen utensils, plastic sheets, and personal hygiene items and potable water.

Santiago Gil, head of the IFRC Americas Department stated that “we understand that it is necessary to increase safety and strengthen communities vulnerable to disasters of natural origen such as hurricanes. Through joint efforts with our partners, such as the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Office (ECHO), we ensure that we have relief and aid supplies ready for distributing, and that we have plans in place to quickly help where most needed.”

For further information, please contact:
Manuel Rodriguez: