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National Hurricane Center Watching Two Areas in the Atlantic For Development.

investmaps29072016Two areas of interest are being monitored for development in the tropical Atlantic.

Both systems are tropical waves and are not directly affecting land at the moment.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) continues to watch a pair of disturbances over the Atlantic Ocean that have some potential to develop into a tropical depression over the next few days.

Both areas of interest are tropical waves – a batch of energy and general spin in the atmosphere that develops due to temperature contrasts on either side of Africa's Sahel region – that are moving west across the central and eastern Atlantic Ocean.
The first tropical wave - designated Invest 96-L - was located just west of Africa, or several hundred miles south of Cabo Verde. This naming convention is used by the NHC to identify features that are being monitored for potential future development into a tropical depression or a tropical storm.
(MORE: What is an Invest?)

As of Friday evening, the NHC indicated that Invest 96-L had a medium (50 percent) chance of developing into a tropical depression during the next five days. The disturbance has a short window of development because it is headed h into a fresh surge of dry air moving into the eastern Atlantic Ocean.
A second tropical wave - designated Invest 97-L - was located more than 1,000 miles east of the Lesser Antilles.

National Hurricane Center

This separate tropical wave has been given a low (30 percent) chance to develop during the next five days. The NHC said that this system's fast movement was a negative to development. The aforementioned dry air in the region also may be playing a role in keeping convection rather disorganized.

Regardless of development, showers and some gusty winds should spread into the Leeward Islands this weekend, then through the Caribbean Sea next week, typical of most tropical waves.

97-L may enter better conditions in a few days in the western Caribbean.

These are the first tropical waves in the Atlantic Ocean to have a chance to develop this season, which is why they have our attention. However, they both have a long way to go, and there's plenty of time to monitor the disturbances as they track west, so there's no need to have any major concerns at the moment.

Technically, the Atlantic hurricane season runs from June 1 through Nov. 30. Much of the tropical activity occurs between the second week of August and the second week of October. In late July and early August, we begin to keep an eye on the eastern Atlantic as it begins to show signs of life.

(MORE: Gulf of Mexico Hurricane Drought Likely to Become the Longest in 130 Years)

Why We Begin Looking Farther East Into the Atlantic This Time of Year

In July, a series of tropical waves often form across the Sahel area of Africa and move westward toward the Atlantic coast. The Sahel area lies between the Sahara Desert to the north and wetter areas to the south.

Tropical waves can develop into tropical storms and hurricanes once they emerge into the Atlantic, but because of some unfavorable environmental factors, they tend to not develop in July.

Meteorologists observe trends, however, that can frequently give us a sneak peek of what the heart of the tropical season could look like.

Over the past couple of weeks, we have noticed a series of weak tropical waves that have moved westward, emerging off the African coast. These waves have dissipated rapidly due to lots of dry air, cool ocean temperatures and wind shear in this region.

African easterly waves are shown by clusters of orange cloud tops originating in east Africa, moving west into the Atlantic Ocean.
Now that we are moving toward August, ocean temperatures have risen to about 80 degrees along the African coast – more favorable for tropical development. Each preceding wave has added moisture to the atmosphere in the eastern Atlantic, and the amount of dry air that can inhibit development is eroding.

The latest satellite photograph clearly shows a number of tropical waves in the Sahel region of Africa, which are moving westward.

(MORE: Eastern Pacific Hurricane Season Sees Record Start to July After a Slow Start)
August and September: More Favorable For Development

Tropical waves that emerge off the African coast often develop around or after passing the Cape Verde Islands.

Meteorologists make frequent references to the "Cape Verde" season, which is essentially a season within the overall hurricane season. Most Cape Verde storms develop from mid-August until late September.

There are so many "mouse traps" (unfavorable conditions) in the Atlantic that very few of these Cape Verde tropical storms and hurricanes ever make it all the way to the United States. But there have been some notable Cape Verde storms that made it to the East Coast of the U.S., such as the 1938 Hurricane, Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

Development of tropical waves into tropical storms or hurricanes is determined by several environmental factors that can range from somewhat favorable to extremely favorable, including:

Ocean temperatures
The orientation of ridges (high pressure) and troughs (low pressure) aloft
A moist environment
In general, the ocean temperature needs to be around 80 degrees for tropical cyclones to develop. Off the coast of Africa, that doesn't usually occur until late July.

Tropical systems like to have winds that are roughly the same speed and direction through a depth of the atmosphere for maximum development. Wind shear - changing winds with height - tends to break up tropical systems that are trying to develop, displacing convection away from a center of circulation.

This often occurs when a trough of low pressure aloft is to the west of a tropical weather system, such that west to southwest winds aloft combine with the typical tropical east-northeast trade winds to produce wind shear.

Enlarge
Expanding high pressure ridge creates a more favorable environment for tropical systems to develop and move westward in the Alantic
In August and September, a high-pressure ridge aloft, known as the Bermuda-Azores high, often expands and creates a more favorable environment for development. Atlantic systems are often steered toward the western Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and sometimes all the way to the U.S.

Since the area from Africa to the eastern Atlantic looks quite active already and we now have a tropical system of interest, it'll be interesting to see what the rest of the hurricane season will have in store.


Former Head of VDSM James Richardson pretrial detention extended.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Judge of Instruction remanded the suspect J.A.J.R. (41) to custody (“bewaring”) for eight (8) more days. The Prosecutor’s Office had requested that the suspect, former head of the St. Maarten National Security Service VDSM remain in pre-trial detention in light of the ongoing investigation. J.A.J.R. is suspected of embezzlement (from January 2011 till mid-2013) and money laundering (from January 2011 till 19 July 2016) for the amount of NAf. 800.000,-. The investigation is in full swing.

Prosecutor's Office Bulletin

C’est avec tristesse et émotion que j’ai appris, jeudi 28 juillet 2016, le décès de monsieur Albéric Cocks, père de notre collègue Wendel Cocks, 3e vice-président du conseil territorial de Saint-Martin. Albéric Cocks était un homme de conviction, très ac

PHILIPSBURG:--- “We applaud the move to install cameras around Philipsburg as a deterrent to crime, but we must start the discussion on the socio economic factors particularly the socioeconomic problems like youth unemployment, migration and an increasing sense of inequality-- all of which are a hot bed for crime-- if we are serious about deterring crime,” leader of the One St. Maarten People Party Lenny Priest said in a press release.
The OSPP leader’s statements come on the heels of news that security cameras have been installed in the Philipsburg area as part of continuing efforts to curb crime. He expressed concerns that having the cameras in just one area initially may serve to move crime from that area to another and not necessarily deter the criminals from committing crimes. “There is now more interest locally in the economics of crime which has been stimulated by the dramatic spike in brazen crimes that have been occurring. Research indicates that a widening income gap with respect to richer regions—which compared to most of the other islands we are—increases the probability of delinquent behavior. Growing inequality is an important factor of crime and we cannot expect to tackle crime without tackling this head on. The time for this discussion is right now,” Priest said.
He noted that demographic factors reveal important and significant influences with higher crime rates occurring in highly urbanized areas. “Being young and unemployed tend to increase the probability of committing crime so why aren’t we doing more to get our young people into work? The ‘Chicago school of thought’ claims that criminals are ordinary people of all racial backgrounds who were profoundly influenced by the poverty and social instability of their neighbourhoods and that such factors may produce all types of crimes. Visit our jail cells and examine the background of the inmates and you will find that this explanation can be applied almost across the board. We need to have discussions of what can we do to encourage, motivate and guide people away from crime. We need to address the socio economic factors and provide more opportunities. The cameras are a good start to deter criminals but it’s also important to take action to discourage people from seeing crime as an option or a solution,” Lenny Priest opined.
He added, “therefore it is important to revisit proposals from the OSPP that were sent to every member of the present and past parliaments of St. Maarten. We are referring to the proposed Van Hugh Law (Lei di Bion) sent on February 10, 2015 to parliament and the Council of Ministers. This would have encouraged the business community to employ young people between the ages of 18 to 30 years that were registered as unemployed. The business in return would receive a tax credit of Naf 9,000 per year per employee. Secondly the OSPP proposed the establishment of a loan guarantee fund to help create new businesses. The backbone of every economy is small businesses and these small businesses create real jobs. These are just some of the ways that we can deter crime and alleviate poverty.”
According to Priest deterring crime is not just the job of the police since the policy makers are the ones to introduce programs to tackle the factors of crime, examples of which he cited as increased levels of unemployment, poverty, transiency, decreased levels of economic opportunities and community participation, poor housing conditions and a lack of access to services.

Squatters at French Quarter dilapidated apartment building refused to move out even though requested by law enforcement.

delapidatedbuilding28072016Property owner calling on the State and Collectivity to do what is necessary for him to demolish the building.

French Quarter:--- The owner of the dilapidated apartment building situated at 10 Impasse Adams Alexander, Standford Jermin could not get a mother and her children out of the dilapidated building on Friday morning in order for him to demolish the building since he is in possession of a demolition permit.
The woman Vannie Maduro, mother of 14 children most of whom are residing at the I CAN Foundation refused to get out of the building even though the owner of the building notified the families that took up residence in the building that he will be demolishing the building on July 29th 2016.
On Friday morning Standford  Jermin showed up at the residence with heavy equipment to demolish the building but the mother and her children refused to get out. The Red Cross and their team showed up at the location stating that the woman went to the French Quartier Conseil du quartier and informed them that she will be evicted on Friday, upon reaching the scene the property owner presented the Red Cross with the demolition permit he obtained from the Collectivity of St. Martin during the month of May 2016 but to date he is not able to get the woman who has Dutch nationality to get out of the building that he said is very dangerous. The other squatters including the woman’s brother who was operating a garage at the property cleared the place since they all know that they were not renting the building and also knows that the building is unfit for living accommodations.
At some point the Territorial Police and the Gendarmes showed up at the scene and pleaded with the woman and told her that she has to leave the place since she is not renting and that the building does not have any type of utilities such as water, electricity or even toilets, but the woman insisted that the French government has to find a house for her and her children since according to her they are French because they (her children) were born on the French side of the island. According to information SMN News obtained from the social services, the children are supposed to be placed in foster care but for  some reason they are not able to find a home that would take in all of the children. SMN News also learnt that the woman went to enlist for a social home but she was denied because she is not working and cannot guarantee that she will be able to pay her rent and other bills if she is granted a social home on the French side of the island.
jerminand gendarmes29072016The Gendarmes confirmed that they are now going to work on the case since they had to intervene and they will get advice from the prosecutor and Prefette as to how the property owner should move forward. “I want to make clear that it’s been over 20 years the apartments were not rented out and I am tired of throwing people out. This building was scheduled to be demolished a long time ago but a few years now I fell ill and the people living in the apartments just moved in and lived there freely. I did the best I could by sticking up the demolition permit on the building several times and the last time I did I gave the squatters a date on which the building has to be vacated, but when I came here this morning with the person that has to demolish the building we could not because people are still inside the building. I want to also make very clear that if any of the people occupying the building at this moment gets injured in the event of a hurricane or earthquake it is the Collectivity and the State that will be responsible. I did what I had to do which is go through the legal channel to get the necessary documents to demolish the building, now it’s for those that are elected and the State to do the necessary to get the people out” Jermin said.

KPSM has more facilities at their disposal to solve crimes on St. Maarten.

ribboncuttingshootingrange2Shooting Range and Forensic Lab, and dog brigade now available to investigators.

PHILIPSBURG:--- The Korps Politie St. Maarten (KPSM) is moving forward as the current Minister of Justice Edison Kirindongo along with his colleagues in the Council of Ministers work tirelessly to get the police the necessary tools they need to better solve crimes on St. Maarten.
On Friday, several dignitaries and invited guests were invited to the former Soremar Building located in Orange Grove Cole Bay where the Minister of Justice officially handed over the keys to the building which will house the police shooting range and the Forensic lab where a team of forensic technicians will be able to do much needed forensic work on St. Maarten rather than in the Netherlands. Some of the work the forensic lab will assist the police in solving are cyber-crimes.
Head of the detective department Denise Jacob in her speech explained how easier the additional tools will help KPSM and its detectives in solving crimes. She thanked the officers of the police force whom she said does their work despite the challenges and also commended those that will be working in the Forensic Lab on St. Maarten which is headed by Janine Cecile Muller-Rijna.
Apart from the shooting range and forensic lab, the Minister of Justice said that on very short notice the Chief of Police Carl John was able to provide him with an advice and scheduled meetings in order for them to have a “dog brigade” on the island. The Minister of Justice said four of the dogs were purchased in the Netherlands while training for the dogs was provided free of charge by his colleague Minister of Justice from Aruba.
Minister Kirindongo mentioned that finances on St. Maarten is scarce and while the government cannot direct the wind, surely they could adjust their sails to reach their destination.
dogbrigadeinaction29072016The six weeks training for the dogs who along with their handlers put on a spectacular show for the audience will be completed by mid- August. For the first time St. Maarten has a female dog handler who is currently undergoing training. The dog brigade will be specialized in finding cellular phones, illicit drugs such as cocaine, XTC pills, marijuana and capturing dangerous suspects. While the dogs that will be used to find illegal items and cellular phones the one to capture high-risk suspect is Belgium Shepherd much bigger animal that is well trained in finding and capturing suspects that are armed and dangerous.
After the official part of the ceremony, the ribbon cutting was done by Minister of Justice Edison Kirindongo and head of the detective department Denise Jacobs while the keys was handed over to both Jacobs and Muller Rijna.

Leader of the United St. Maarten Party (USP) Frans Richardson on Friday congratulated Minister of Justice Edson Kirindongo for yet another accomplishment for the departments that fall under the Justice Ministry. The inauguration of the building to house a new Forensics Lab and Shooting range is “the latest in our efforts to give the police force of St. Maarten the tools they need to effectively and efficiently fight crime. We cannot accept an environment where our law enforcement is at a disadvantage so it is crucial that we do what we must to ensure they are well equipped to do their job,” Richardson said.

Forensic laboratories the world over, he said, are crucial to our criminal justice system. The expertise in our lab will provide invaluable information that aids in the investigation and prosecution of crime through the scientific examination of physical evidence. “We are in 2016. The majority of crimes today are solved using forensic science. There are newer technologies every year in this field. I want to see the day come when our lab not only plays a key role for solving crime locally, but can lend a hand to our neighbors as well,” Richardson said.

The USP leader also lauded the addition and creation of the K9-Brigade which will help officers track down and sniff out contraband and other material that criminal minded individuals might try to hide from law enforcement.

 Click here to view photos of the ceremony


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