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Heavy gusts and heavy rain showers coming in Suriname

Whole roof of house torn away by heavy wind
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The Crisis Team Infrastructure and Disasters (CIR) and the Meteorological Service Suriname (MDS) under the Ministry of Public Works (OW) are preparing for the natural disasters to come. There is sufficient reason to warn the community of the violent gusts expected soon. These can also be accompanied by heavy rain showers, so the Ministry of Education continues to keep society informed by providing everyone with the correct information in time.

Research and measurements have shown that the Inter-Tropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) is currently located above Suriname, which will regularly be partly activated by longitudinal wave disturbances and the spurs of low-pressure areas. The period from May-September is characterized by elongating tropical waves (from the west coast of Africa). It is expected that the tropical waves in hurricane will be very active this year, due to the already recorded high sea temperatures of the Tropical Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

It can be very dry and warm at times, but the frequency of thunderstorms will continue to increase until August of this year. These showers can be accompanied by occasional short-lived gusts, after which gusts can also develop in favorable weather conditions. The hurricane season starts in June and ends in November. Depending on the location and displacement of the hurricanes, Suriname can be affected by the spiral band, which is accompanied by heavy precipitation and gusts, whose wind speeds can exceed 70 km per hour.

Furthermore, it is indicated that gusts develop around showers, they can strike suddenly and change wind direction, but the real heavy gusts occur during thunderstorms. The authorities of the OW Ministry also inform the community that during a thunderstorm the temperature can drop to as much as ten degrees locally. In such a situation, there is a downburst measuring strong wind speeds associated with downpours. In Suriname we know this as Sibi Busi.

These whirlwinds also occur in Suriname during this period. It is a welvel wind, which is visible under a thundercloud as a funnel-shaped trunk. Whirlwinds also cause a lot of damage to buildings and trees. Because the wind direction or wind speed changes with height, this causes rotation in the storm cloud and the cloud can start to rotate. When this rotating column of air is absorbed by the rising movements (turbulence) in the cloud, a rotation is created around a vertical axis. When the funnel reaches the ground, the tornado or whirlwind is born.

It is important to know that trees in the vicinity of houses and roads can pose a danger before and during stormy weather conditions. Our country is currently confronted with a lot of precipitation, with the result that the soil is completely saturated, as a result of which trees have less grip and can fall over more quickly. Check trees in your area for old wood or overlong branches growing too close to your home and prune as needed. Check whether zinc plates are loose and clean the gutters every year.

In the last 10 years we have had to deal with an increased frequency of natural disasters, so it is therefore advisable to take out insurance against storms and natural disasters. Never hide under a tree in high winds, branches can break and trees can uproot. Stay indoors during a storm and only go out when absolutely necessary. Drive mainly on main roads and avoid roads flanked by trees. Do not park your car under trees. If you need help after the storm, you can contact the NCCR on 114 or the Public Works Infrastructure and Disasters Crisis Team on the call or app number 8989114.

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