Weather system could become a depression
Despite the start of the 2019 hurricane season still a month away, Chief Meteorologist Geoffrey Greene said yesterday that a weather system that dumped rain across the country and produced hail on Inagua will continue to bring heavy rain and strong winds over the next 48 hours.
“This is a deep layered system that has been affecting us for the last few days,” Greene told The Nassau Guardian.
“It affected Inagua and down in the southeast Bahamas first, then it started to move up towards the central Bahamas and now it’s across the northwest Bahamas and it’s moving towards the northwest.
“We expect that most of the system would be out here by tonight and then we expect it to move to Florida.”
Greene said the system is being monitored for development into a low pressure system.
“If it becomes a low-pressured system, most likely it will become a depression, and that is expected to happen within the next five days, just to the north of The Bahamas,” he continued.
“But they are still watching for that. They are not certain that will happen. There’s about a 20 percent chance right now.”
He noted that the system was first a cold front that developed into a deep layered trough.
“So far we’ve had a lot of gusty winds, very strong winds, at least 15 to 25 knots, and some gusting above that,” Greene said, as he alluded to the type of weather that can be expected over the next few days.
“We have the high sea with that because of the winds. That will be around six to nine feet, which will [mean] small craft boaters should really stay in port especially when you have those strong thunderstorms.
“And with the strong thunderstorms recently we’ve been getting a lot of hail and that’s been affecting Inagua just a few days ago, and some other islands may have had some effect but we didn’t get any reports from any other islands so far.
“But again funnel clouds also form from those and that means you could have tornadic activity.
“We have to keep a close eye on Grand Bahama as they are going to be very near to the system if it forms, and even if it doesn’t form we expect weather to be around Grand Bahama for the next few days, at least until Saturday.
“Sunday they should be pretty much in the clear as that system moves away from us.”
Hurricane season starts June 1.
However, Greene said that storms developing before the season has become common in recent years.
“Over the last four years we’ve had the development of early storms, especially during May,” he said.
“We had, in 2016, one that developed as early as January. So it’s becoming more common. We have to be careful and be prepared for the hurricane season as they develop a lot sooner.”
As for what to expect for this hurricane season, Greene said while they are predicting it to be fairly normal, there is still a chance for an above average season.
“That means that the normal amount of storms is normally around six storms that form,” he said.
Education: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (University of Brussels), MA in Mass Communications