More unstable weather predicted

Residents may experience more weather instability which was forecasted for the Northern Bahamas as the mid to upper level trough sits between Grand Bahama and Florida and more activity is expected for this Hurricane Season.

The Bahamas Department of Meteorology in Grand Bahama provided information on local incoming weather conditions in their Thursday (August 8) reports.

At the time the report was issued there was a moderate threat for funnel cloud development across the local marine area as well as a moderate to high threat for isolated strong to severe thunderstorms today.

Additionally, periods of heavy rainfall were likely to result in flooding in low lying and flood prone areas. The area was expected to keep experiencing isolated showers and thunderstorms for the day, as this trough lifts northward some clearing is expected for the overnight period.

This area includes extreme northwest Bahamas including Grand Bahama, Abaco, Bimini and their adjacent waters.

Yesterday’s weather conditions were a mixture of sun, cloudiness, and humidity with showers and predicted thunderstorms into Thursday (August 8) afternoon, then fair with lingering isolated showers and possible thunderstorms overnight.

Boaters were advised to be alert for gusty winds, higher seas and reduced visibility in or near heavy showers or thunderstorms.

Reports also informed that no tropical cyclone activity was expected in the coming days. This reflects the inactivity that was initially predicted for the current Atlantic Hurricane Season.

However, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently released its mid-season update to the overall Atlantic hurricane season outlook which now predicts an “above normal season.” August through October marks the peak in hurricane activity, because this is when 95 percent of all hurricanes form.

This season there have been two named storms, one of which went on to strengthen into the season’s first hurricane, Barry, and made landfall in Louisiana. NOAA’s lead hurricane forecaster at the Climate Prediction Center, Gerry Bell reportedly stated that the El Nino pattern which was in place earlier in the season has now dissipated, meaning atmospheric conditions are expected to be more favorable as wind patterns become more hospitable to support storm development. There is now a higher likelihood of an “above-normal” season.

An “above-normal” season is defined as 10 to 17 named storms, 5 to 9 which are expected to strengthen to a hurricane, with 2 to 4 major hurricanes. This outlook does not attempt to show how many of these storms will impact land or the United States.

Previously, experts from Colorado State University reported that conditions in the Atlantic will cause below average tropical storm formation activity.

The majority of storms which occur during the Atlantic Hurricane Season form from mid-August to late October. The peak date being September 10.

The National Hurricane Center has been monitoring the system in the Caribbean for the past several days.

The National Hurricane Center does not foresee any tropical cyclone development over the next five days. None of the global models indicate significant tropical cyclone development in the next week.

The official start is June 1 and ends November 30 although tropical systems can develop at just about any time of the year.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center is forecasting a near-normal Atlantic hurricane season is most likely in 2019. An average hurricane season produces 12 named storms, of which six become hurricanes, including three major ones.

For 2019, NOAA predicted nine to 15 named storms with winds of 63 kilometres per hour or higher.

Four to eight could become hurricanes with winds of 119 km/h or higher, including two to four major hurricanes, meaning category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 179 km/h or higher.

The NOAA provides these ranges with 70 percent confidence. So far this year at least two named storms have developed in the Atlantic.

This outlook reflects competing climate factors.

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