29 August 2008
As the North Atlantic tropical storm season heads into its most active months, all eyes are focused on Tropical Storms Gustav and Hanna as they head towards the southern USA.
The Met Office provides forecast information of tropical storms and hurricanes from its unified model twice daily to its colleagues at the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami. This valuable information is used by forecasters in the NHC when compiling the official forecasts of track and landfall of hurricanes and tropical storms such as Gustav and Hanna, and the issue of warnings to affected areas.
The latest forecast shows Tropical Storm Gustav tracking northwest into the Gulf of Mexico and Tropical Storm Hanna moving westwards towards the Bahamas. British holiday makers and those with friends and family in the Caribbean and southern USA will be paying close attention to the NHC advice and warnings for wind, rain and storm surges.
The Met Office has a responsibility to protect the lives of British citizens abroad and issues regular briefings to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for tropical cyclones around the globe throughout the year. In addition the Met Office provides forecast information to humanitarian agencies and the insurance industry, giving advanced notice for mitigating action.
The latest forecast tracks can be found at the National Hurricane Center website.
The Met Office is also providing forecast information on the progress of Gustav and Hanna to government departments to help deal with the situation. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development (DFID) are responsible for issuing advice to British Nationals in the area.