Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Freight and Passenger Vessels Divert Away from Hurricane Sandy

Tropical Storm Upgraded Whilst Another Brews in Atlantic
Shipping News Feature

CARIBBEAN - Seafarers are warned that tropical storm Sandy has been awarded category one hurricane status following an increase in wind speed in the eighteenth such storm this season. The eye of the hurricane is looking likely to pass over the centre of Jamaica, the first time since 1988 this has happened. Meanwhile in the general press little regard has been given to tropical storm Tony which has formed in the open Atlantic, of little comfort to the crews of freight and passenger vessels in the region to say nothing of smaller fishing boats.

Tony is reported to be moving east-northeast at around 20 miles per hour with winds up to 50 mph around 1,250 miles west-southwest of the Azores but most interest centres on the likely path of brother Sandy which is predicted to hit Cuba after causing vessels scheduled to dock in Jamaica to divert. This morning large waves battered the Jamaican coastline and meteorologists were predicting up to twenty inches of rain on the island in very short order.

Updates are available from the US National Hurricane Center in Miami where forecasters are predicting that, although possibly somewhat dissipated, the storm will likely hit Florida by Friday morning having passed over Cuba. The Center also predicted a storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 3-5 feet above normal tide levels in southeastern Cuba. A storm surge will raise water levels by as much as 4-7 ft above normal tide levels in the Bahamas within the tropical storm warning area whilst near coastlines the surge will be accompanied by large and dangerous waves.

Photo: Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center.