[IMG: Luis; Credit: Norm Nelson, Bermuda Biological Station for Research - http://www.bbsr.edu/Weather/]

The Caribbean Hurricane Page

Updates from the Islands

- - Bermuda - -

- Jose Predicted to go Well East
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 09:42:24 -0300
Good to hear that the islands down south sustained little damage from Jose.
 Wondering how Vieques (PR) faired.  Expect to hear from family there soon.

Up here in Bermuda the feeling is that we will get some rain and gusty
winds.  The predictions of where the storm will go have varied wildly in
the last few local reports - from 100 or so nm west, through a direct hit
(tropical storm), to current estimate of 114nm east.  One of the fishermen
was surprised that the storm is predicted to intensify again, as the water
temperature has dropped significantly over the last two weeks.  We
generally don't expect TS or hurricanes up here at this time of year.

Anyway, we don't expect anything to serious, and there isn't much
possibility of landslides, as we don't have big enough hills!  Hope I don't
eat my words!


- Jose
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Oct 1999 15:17:10 -0300
Here we go again!
While Jose batters Antigua, Bermuda is already viewing the storm as a
"potential threat" . This means that Jose's closest point of approach in
the next 72 hours is within 400 miles.  Actually it is predicted to be
182nm away from Bermuda in 72 hours, and may get closer.  At that stage,
they predict 95 knot winds, gusting to 115 knots, which would make Jose a
catagory 3.

It's early days yet.  Watching with interest.

- Bermuda after "Gert"
  • From: "Danny Hollis" <danny_hollis AT hotmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 20:50:06 ADT
Good evening all, once again Bermuda was spared a great deal of damage from 
Hurricane Gert..I had the distinct pleasure of working at the Weather Office 
that day..talk about phones ring..We are situated up on a 130 foot hill, our 
winds at the station were maxed out at 64kts..Our wind instruments are 
situated on the actual runway and are a little sheltered from a hill to the 
north. On the other hand we were getting reports from Bermuda Harbour Radio 
that they did in fact get 96kt and 93kts up on their hill which is open to 
the north with no obstruction. We were very lucky to be on the better side 
of Gert, had we been on the northeast side, we would have been picking up 
debree come the New Year. Miricles never cease..Bermuda di experience a good 
bit of damage to the South side of the Island, especially the beach areas 
and some houses that are built close to the high water mark. On my trip into 
work that day, the wind was gusting to at least 50kts, as I approached the 
bridge on the way to work, I saw my first boat lying up against the bridge 
itself. It was roughly 40 feet in length. There were also lots of branches 
strewn all over the road as usual in high winds. I noticed that my friend 
were doing ok out at anchor in the middle of the harbour. Once settled in 
the office, the phones began to ring constantly, just general inquiries on 
the weather. All in all the day went well despite getting up, leaving my 
wife alone with our dog..wasn't easy. But she managed well, our phones never 
went off. The lights did for me at 1:52am that morning and we got them back 
at 11:15pm..My thanks go out to the Electric Company, because at that time 
the wind was still gusting to 35kts. But they managed to get the remaining 
houses on. The waves that day were nothing short of spectacular, very large 
and breaking even before it got to the reef line. It was no wonder that 
there was that much erosion, with 25 foot seas battering the coastline. 
Other damages included more boats on the rocks, trees down, walls damaged 
from the sea on some of the South Shore..We are so very lucky..
All in all we fared very well indeed as we usually do in these situation. My 
hats off to all who had to work in essential services that day...well I will 
sign off now. Take care all..check back to this site for more updates..even 
when we dont have a Hurricane around.
Good night to all...

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- Addendum
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 13:25:47 -0300
I'm getting a lot of e-mail from people due to visit the island who are
concerned about he situation here, so I guess I didn't explain the extent
of the damage very well.  Bermuda is fine.  There is very little damage.
The south shore beaches have lost some sand.  Some are eroded totally, some
are still beautiful with pink sand in plentiful supply.  Horseshoe Bay and
Warwick long Bay looked intact from atop the cliff nearby, yesterday
evening.  The roads are almost all clear and everywhere is open for
business.  The weather today is warm (mid 80's), clear and there is a nice
breeze.  And as I told one person, get here quickly enough and you may get
to swim with the (escaped) dolphins for free!

- The other side...
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1999 09:45:31 -0300
We had a close call.  Gert veered off to the north at the last minute,
sparing us the hurricane force winds.  Most of the damage is from the ocean
surge, which has eroded most of the south shore beaches, and caused some
damage to property on the shore.  We have been extremely fortunate, and
most people today are thanking their lucky stars.  If we had been subjected
to the cat 3 winds for the 6 or 8 hours we were expecting up until the last
minute, things would be MUCH worse.

Monday was interesting.  As winds picked up, the rumors began to fly around
the island.  My husband called me at around 3.30pm to tell me that the
Causeway - the only link between St. George's parish and the rest of the
islands, was to be closed imminently, because the surge was so high and
high tide was approaching.  Good job there were no traffic police out on
that route as I whizzed over the bridge to pick up my daughter from day
care!  Turned out to be a false tale.

Another rumor was that BELCO, the electric company, were shutting down
power.  Nope!  

When I arrived home, I immediately began to secure the house, which wasn't
a big job as we had done the main work at the weekend.  After five minutes
though, my husband received a call to say that he had been embodied into
the Regiment (Most men over 18 have to serve 3 years in the part-time
military).  Panic all round, as this meant that we had to make sure all of
the furniture was protected from damage, get his kit together, and get
enough food and clothing for my daughter and I to stay with relatives over
the causeway, all in about half an hour.  8 weeks left to serve, and he's
embodied.  Chuh!

I'd like to take this chance to mention that the Regiment, who were
partially embodied, did nothing of effect.  In fact, my husbands group cut
a few twigs down for half an hour, then lay on the floor in a building for
the rest of the time (about 24hours).  So, instead of being with his
family, who potentially needed his help and support, my husband was
deployed to do...nothing of use.  I'd like to know how much that cost,
Government?  Perhaps the embodiment roster for these occasions should list
men without young families to care for.  Humph!

Anyway, the news and weather services were exemplary in the information
they provided in the approach of the storm (thanks Danny).  Yesterday
morning, we awoke prepared for a day with the full brunt of the storm, but
by 11am, the worst seemed to have passed.  The closest point of approach
was at 1pm, when Gert was 118nm away, the hurricane force winds missing us
by 20 or 30 nm.  

Some of the dolphins who escaped from Dolphin Quest have been sited.  Two
of them have been fed, but the mother and her calf, I hear, have not yet
been seen.  Let's hope that they at least are able to get food.  Maybe
freedom suits them.  

I took some great shots of the south shore during the storm, and I'll post
them on my web site soon.  Watch this space.

- Gert AT Bermuda
  • From: "Scott Amyoony" <sandman AT northrock.bm>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 23:28:45 -0400
As we will probably lose all power, cable and telephone connection within
the next 12 hours, here's what's happening so far,

Bermuda is currently getting gusts of 40 - 60kts as the outer rain bands of
Gert are reaching out over us. Tomorrow at approximately 9:00AST, we will be
getting hurricane force winds of 70+mph. Luckily most of the buildings in
Bermuda are made of 12 - 18" concrete/lime block so most structures should
remain intact (I hope).
The hurricane force winds will continue until 3:00pm tomorrow. After which
time, I will assess the damage and give a report (providing that I can get
access to the internet).
Time to close the shutters and bring in the cats!

Scott & Liz Amyoony
sandman AT northrock.bm  or liz AT northrock.bm

- Update from Bermuda on Hurricane "Gert"
  • From: "Danny Hollis" <danny_hollis AT hotmail.com>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 23:20:44 ADT
Good evening from Bermuda, well today was very interesting, lots of people 
(just as I thought) were boarding up windows securing boats and tying down 
loose items around houses. The winds right now at 11pm this evening are 31 
gusting to 41 knots. We should see 50-55 knots by late tonight early 
morning, then my late in the morning we should under Hurricane force wind up 
to 90 knots. It should be an thrilling drive into work at 6am. Some roads 
are awash with surf and there has been some reports already of property 
damage, mainly on the South Shore. I also hear that four Dolphins from The 
Dolphin Quest have fled to open ocean. Most likely due to some break wall 
damage.I hope they get them back. Some good friends of mine on the 65' yacht 
"Impromptu" are tied to one of the large buoys in the middle of St.George's 
Harbour, I bet they will be in for a bit of a ride late tonight and into 
tomorrow. God Speed to them. I checked in on them via VHF radio this evening 
and they seemed fine thus far. I will chat with them on VHF tomorrow 
morning. The ocean is ALIVE and kicking, large swells are battering the 
South Shore, some roads are awash and unpassable. I will try to get another 
report and hopefully some pictures tomorrow morning from the Weather 
Office..I will be on duty tomorrow.
the following is the current Tropical Update:

Tropical Update - Hurricane Gert

At 6 pm, Monday, 20 September 1999, Category 3 Hurricane Gert was located at 
28.6N 62.9W, or approximately 241 nm south southeast of Bermuda.
Hurricane Gert is moving north northwest at 8 knots, with maximum sustained 
winds of 105 knots, gusting to 130 knots. Central pressure is 948mb/27.99 
The closest point of approach to Bermuda within the next 72 hours, is 
forecast to be 62 nm east at 4 pm Tuesday, September 21st 1999.

Hurricane Gert is considered to be a threat to Bermuda.

That's all I have for this evening...going to try and get some shut eye, it 
is starting to get very gusty out...take care all and good night from 
Ciao Danny

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- Gert's a commin'
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Mon, 20 Sep 1999 13:29:11 -0300
Bermuda is now under Hurricane Warning.  Although the eye is expected to
miss us, we will probably experience hurricane force winds.  Latest
forecast has Gert's eye passing 77nm east at 3pm tomorrow, but a lot still
depends on the action of the trough. Winds are 105 knots, gusting to 130 -
a cat 3.

At the moment, people are beginning to board up in preparation.  Here at
work (the Bermuda Biological Station for Research) there is a flurry of
activity and advisories.  We have a number of staff and students who have
never been through a hurricane before, and all are nervous - of course!  We
cancelled our Elderhostel sessions for this week (Gert van Dijken will love

The winds are increasing and we are getting bands of heavy rain.  I am told
that the storm surge is already high, and almost reaching the roads in some
areas of the south shore.  I am at the east end, but would be interested to
know how things are on the south shore.

I'll write from home tomorrow if power stays up.  

- Update from Bermuda (Hurricane Gert)
  • From: "Danny Hollis" <danny_hollis AT hotmail.com>
  • Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999 23:40:52 ADT
Good evening from Bermuda, Saw a good many people out and about today doing 
odds and ends...Storing dinghies, securing larger boats, and cutting some 
trees down around the house. Others were observed getting hardware supplies 
and stocking up on others useful items. I was at the grocery store this 
afternoon in St. George's and did not see that many shoppers, maybe tomorrow 
they will be when "Gert" is a little closer. The waves are quite large on 
the South Shore, and will most likely get larger as the time goes on. Below 
is the Tropical Update:

Tropical Update - Hurricane Gert
At 9 pm, Sunday, 19 September 1999, Category 4 Hurricane Gert was located at 
26.3N 60.8W, or approximately 450 nm south southeast of Bermuda.
Hurricane Gert is moving northwest at 10 knots, with maximum sustained winds 
of 115 knots, gusting to 140 knots. Central pressure is 950mb/28.20 inches.
The closest point of approach to Bermuda within the next 72 hours, is 
forecast to be 105 nm east at 12 pm Tuesday, September 21st 1999.

Hurricane Gert is considered to be a potential threat to Bermuda.

Currently Bermuda has out three warning: Small Craft warning - Tropical 
Storm Warning and Under a Hurricane Watch. They were issued at 6pm local 
time (AST).
That is all to report this evening..I will supply an update tomorrow 


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- More on Gert
  • From: "Marcus Kermode" <mdkaek AT ibl.bm>
  • Date: Sun, 19 Sep 1999 18:30:23 -0300
The 6pm Sunday 19 Sept) update is fairly ambiguous about the path of hurricane Gert.  He is still forecast to brush by us to the east, but this is dependant on a 500mb trough from the US east coast, which should turn the storm north.  Of course, the action of the trough could be delayed, which is why we are now placed under a hurricane watch.
Whatever the effects, they are expected sometime on Tuesday.  Work on Monday is going to be very strange!  No way I'll be able to concentrate. I don't think anyone expects the storm to hit, although most are wary.  Still, the hurricane spiders are building their webs high, which means (the old timers say) that the hurricane isn't coming.
We took a drive down to the south shore beaches earlier today, to watch the surf and see the waves rolling over the boiler reefs.  The ocean looked turbulent and beautifully bright blue.  I'll be going that way tomorrow to watch those waves becoming more angry!

- Gert forecast to come closer
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 17 Sep 1999 15:06:44 -0300
Hurricane Gert is delaying his turn to the north, which means he won't go
way out to the east of us.  It's not looking good for Bermuda given the
current tracking models.  This weekend will be spent by the islanders
preparing for the storm, which will be closest late Monday or early
Tuesday, given the current forecast.  However, 12 years ago, Hurricane
Emily was at a safe distance, and then sped up hitting Bermuda directly.
Strange things happen out there in the open ocean...Consequently Bermudians
are wary of hurricanes coming our way.

More as the storm approaches.

- Gert
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 13:14:09 -0300
I know I asked you to visit, Gert, but do you have to send your name sake
in your stead?

It looks like Hurricane Gert has missed the islands.  However, at noon
today, local advisories state that Gert is a potential threat to Bermuda.
This means that the 72 hour forecast shows the storm coming within 400
miles of Bermuda.  We are watching this one, although of course it is way
to early to tell what he's going to do.  

I'll look forward to Martha Watkins Gilkes report!

- Floyd
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Tue, 14 Sep 1999 09:29:38 -0300
Floyd is even affecting us way up in Bermuda.  Seas outside the reef have
been 15 ft, but are forecast to reduce to 8 - 12ft today.  There are
warning signs all over the south shore beaches, advising that noone should
swim - although the north shore is calm.  I expect the surfers will be out
on the south shore - hurricane season is the only time they get any surf!
Thinking about those folks in the Bahamas, and others in the path of this

- Catagory 4??
  • From: "Marcus Kermode" <mdkaek AT ibl.bm>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 15:58:43 -0300
Wow!  I turn away from the hurricane news for a few hours, and...Cindy has developed into a cat. 4 hurricane as of 12pm today - central pressure of 944mb yikes!  Cindy is predicted to turn to the north well before she begins to affect Bermuda - CPA 301nm east.  Well, lets hope so.  Good job I bought all that shopping today. 
Okay, so now I'm not so excited and just hope she stays away.  I wonder how far above sea level my apartment is...
Fingers crossed!

- Weather Channel
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 13:24:36 -0300
I'm a little upset with The Weather Channel. We got about 15 seconds of coverage on Cindy at 12.50pmAST, and no real information (apart from the fact that there was only a few miles per hour to go before Cindy was upgraded to a major hurricane and how she looked as though she was heading straight for Bermuda if she didn't take that expected turn toward the north). I wonder whether these people know that they are broadcast to many of the islands and how much of a useful resource they might be to us?
Good job we have the internet to check on the situation!

Disclaimer. The above is my opinion. So sue me!

- More on Bermuda
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Fri, 27 Aug 1999 10:06:31 -0300
Cindy has intensified to a cat. 2 now, as predicted.  The storm is headed
to our west, according to the forecasts, and will not cause us too much
trouble. Hmm.  We will see.  Alarmingly, the storm, which had a CPA of 3am
on Sunday, has had it's CPA moved to 3pm on Saturday.  Wow - did Cindy ever
speed up and change course!  If she hits, then that may be a good thing, as
she won't linger.  However, it also means that her track is unpredictable,
which makes me a little nervous.

Emily is still concerning us.  Despite the fact that Emily is now
downgraded to a tropical depression, some predictions have Emily
intensifying again.  Bermudians are still deeeply suspicious of this one.


- Will she or won't she?
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Sat, 28 Aug 1999 09:38:55 -0300
Once again the island is making preparations for a possible strike.  Our
immediate concern is Hurricane Cindy.  Cindy is predicted to arrive this
weekend (28/29 August) if at all, and is probably going to be downgraded
again to a Tropical Storm before she reaches us.  That's the prognosis,
anyway, but I don't really need to state how unpredictable the storms can be.
Bermudians are also keeping an close watch on Dennis, who may skirt the US
coast and barrel up to us.  I hope the Bahamas are not getting too much of
a pummelling. 
And Emily...how ironic it would be if Emily headed on up to Bermuda.
Twelve years ago, another Emily caused much damage to the island.  
I'm excited!  Must compile my emergency shopping list!
Take care down south.

- Arlene
  • From: "Liz" <sandman AT northrock.bm>
  • Date: Fri, 18 Jun 1999 14:00:41 -0400

Arlene was a joke.  We closed all the shutters and secured the patio
furniture and nothing happened....not even any substantial rain.  We live in
Warwick which is near the middle of the island; closer to the North Shore.
We got maybe an inch.  My sister who lives on the South Shore said that she
got absolutely nothing.  The surf on the beaches were higher than
normal....great waves for body surfing.

 We were really looking forward to some rain as our water tanks are getting
extremely low.  But to no avail.  My neighbour didn't even know Arlene
existed so she doesn't have to go through putting everything back.  I
wouldn't mind so much if we had gotten a decent amount of rain....but nada.


- Arlene/Bermuda
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Jun 1999 09:38:25 -0300
It's Thursday morning, 17 June.  Arlene was supposed to scrape by us in the
wee hours of the morning.  In reality, she dispersed and failed to cause
any damage.  According to the local news, we experienced a few gusts of 20
knots.  That didn't even wake me up!  Apparently there was some rain, but
my porch was dry this morning.

It's easy to be glib about the passing of this storm.  Arlene never seemed
much of a threat.  We were lucky and let's hope it stays that way for 1999.
 I hope all islands are spared this year, and thank Gert for providing this
important forum.

- Arlene/Bermuda
  • From: Anne Kermode <akermo AT sargasso.bbsr.edu>
  • Date: Wed, 16 Jun 1999 10:55:16 -0300
Few people in Bermuda see Arlene as a threat.  The storm is much the same
strength as the weather we have through most of the winter months!
Personally, I am just using the "threat" of Arlene as a prompt to get
stocked up on batteries and gas for the barbecue in preparation for power
outages during the rest of the season.
The storm is currently drifting and the ETA keeps being put back (now it is
8am Thursday 17 June CPA 20 miles).  Many people here are counting on her
to bring us some rain.  We use a rain catchment system in Bermuda for our
fresh water - usually, rain is caught on the roofs of our houses and stored
in tanks beneath the foundations - and this year, we are well below the
average rainfall, so could use some heavy showers.
We should start to feel some minor effects any time now - the wind has just
picked up slightly.  Some cruise ships have been diverted.
Anne Kermode

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