Video credit: Alexander James (June 16, 2021)
One meteorological expert is cautioning Barbadians not to think that the freak weather system, which occurred in 2021, was a one-off occurrence that would not happen ever again.
In an effort to keep residents and citizens on guard as we head into the 2022 hurricane season and help persons prepare not only physically but mentally, this word of advice came from Deputy Director, Barbados Meteorological Services (BMS), Brian Murray.
that is a sign that you’ll probably get a potential you’d get a mesocyclone/tornado
Referring to the June 16-17, 2021, ‘freak storm’, Murray told media personnel during a media sensitisation campaign launch for the hurricane season:
“Thunderstorms like these we have to watch out for because they could be coming a lil bit more common.”
He said that last year’s was the first he ever saw like that in Barbados, “You only saw it in America,” but he cautioned, “and when you see lightning like that, flashing continuously, that is a sign that you’ll probably get a potential you’d get a mesocyclone/tornado.”
And when talking about the freak event after it shook Barbadians back in June, then Acting Director of the BMS Sabu Best did say meteorologists observed a “mesoscale convective system” or a very small vortex, which had developed to the east northeast of Barbados between 10 pm and 11 pm on the Wednesday night.
Speaking to how quickly a system such as the freak storm could develop, Best then stressed, “These features because they are very small in nature can spin up really quickly, and they can disappear just as quick,” and it brought “intense rainfall”. The weather station at Cambridge, St Andrew recorded rainfall rates of 168 millimetres per hour.
The Barbados Light and Power Company Ltd in their 2021 review of the hurricane season back in September said, that June 17 freak storm saw over 4,700 lightning strikes in less than an hour that directly and indirectly impacted their infrastructure – lines and hardware.