Havana, Dec 1.- The 2017 hurricane season in the Caribbean basin evolved into much more active than thought before its start, said a Cuban specialist to local newspaper Granma today.
Of a total of 17 tropical storms, 10 of them reached the category of a hurricane and 6 were highly intense, Doctor Jose Rubiera, former director of the National Forecast Center of the Institute of Meteorology of Cuba, mentioned at a scientific workshop.
From June 1st to November 30, the models suggested there could occur between 10 and 12 storms, taking into account the possible presence of El Niño/South Oscillation, an event which did not occur at all.
Doctor Jose Rubiera placed the 2017 hurricane season as the 7th most active since 1850 up according to the Index of Accumulated Cyclone Energy, and the only one that has had 3 hurricanes on a range over 40 (the most destructive) in that measuring table.
The 2017 season reported 438 dead people and material losses over 360 billion dollars. The first tropical storm reported was Arlene in April even before the season started, and 2 of the hurricanes reached Category 5: Irma and Maria.
Hurricane Irma, the first Category 5 hurricane to hit Cuba after 1959, was the most intense and destructive in the Atlantic, regarding the maximum speed of its sustained winds (298 Km per hour). Its effects were felt in at least 10 Cuban provinces, with much damage to the island's economy.
Hurricane Maria is the one with the most intensity, having its central atmospheric pressure (at 908 HectoPascal). (Prensa Latina)