The Bahamas Department of Meteorology will likely issue a hurricane watch or warning for the northern Bahamas as early as today or tomorrow as Hurricane Dorian makes its way closer to The Bahamas, Deputy Director Jeffrey Simmons said yesterday.
According to the 11 p.m. bulletin from the National Hurricane Center yesterday, Hurricane Dorian was a category one storm packing winds up to 85 miles per hour. Dorian is moving toward the northwest near 13 miles per hour, and this general motion is expected to continue through Friday. On this track, Dorian should move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern and central Bahamas on Thursday and Friday.
“We have noticed that the forecast track now on all the hurricane models are now agreeing that Dorian is now taking more of a northwest turn than initially had planned,” Simmons said during a press conference at the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) headquarters on Gladstone Road.
“So, that turn actually took Dorian to the east of the southeast Bahamas. So, the track now for Dorian now [has] it going around the southeast Bahamas and also the central Bahamas.
“However, after that movement, after a few days, like about Friday, they expect Dorian now to take on a more westward track which would actually take it closer to the northern Bahamas.”
Simmons said Grand Bahama, Abaco, Eleuthera and Bimini are still in the cone of possibility for the next three to five days.
He said the meteorology department has discontinued its hurricane alert for the southeastern Bahamas.
Simmons said it is likely the department will issue either a hurricane watch or warning for the northern Bahamas “within the next day or two should Dorian remain on its projected track”.
He said the department has three Doppler Weather Radars.
“That provides us coverage for all of the northern Bahamas and central Bahamas and gives us coverage down to as far as Acklins and Crooked Island but not very good,” Simmons said.
“That’s the reason we’re going to put another one in Mayaguana. So, the next one is to be in place in Mayaguana, which will then cover those parts of the southern Bahamas that are not visible at this time.”
Simmons said that radar will not be operational until the next hurricane season.
“The weather radar is an important tool in our ability to track and forecast hurricanes,” he said.
“However, it is not the only tool. We have other tools available to us that we use, such as satellite imagery and other things like that.”