By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
THERE will be an increase in rainfall over the next few months, chief meteorologist Basil Dean said in the wake of yesterday's thunderstorms.
Mr Dean said Wednesday's rains were triggered by a mid to low-level trough, the effects of which should trigger showers through Friday, lull on Saturday, and result in more rainfall on Sunday.
When asked about yesterday's weather, Mr Dean said: "The summer months are our rainier months, with rainfall picking up from the middle of May. As a matter of fact, we've gotten a little earlier start.
"From early May, we've been getting kind of regular rainfall. And even if we have a look at the statistical numbers for New Providence…. we usually average about 8.77 inches of rainfall for June.
"So, we can anticipate an increase in rainfall over the next few months. But as we speak, we do have a mid to low-level trough, which has been oscillating between the northwest and central Bahamas.
"And that oscillation has been triggering occasional showers and thunderstorms, which we have experienced in some parts of the island today. Those conditions we anticipate will continue pretty much into Friday morning. We'll perhaps get a little lull in the rainfall on Saturday and the rain should return again on Sunday."
"So we're going to have these off and on periods of rains."
When asked if the country will experience an above-average rainy season, Mr Dean said it is possible based on such an early start.
"An early start means that you're likely to have more than normal. Considering (this), we could see an above average season," he said.
"We already have one under our belt."
Mr Dean also discussed predictions for this year's hurricane season, which officially began June 1.
This season is also predicted to be above average, with more than 10 storms named.
The chief meteorologist also noted there was a pre-seasonal storm, referencing tropical cyclone Alberto, which developed in late May. "The hurricane season, like our rainy season, also got an early start. (Alberto) was a pre-seasonal storm which developed, so we already have one under our belt.
"The seasonal predictions…we're looking at an above average season in terms of tropical cyclones. Most of the seasonal predictors, for example, NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), they're looking at anywhere between 10 and 16 named storms.
"Colorado State (University), they're looking at 14 named storms, and Global Weather Oscillations…are looking at some 17 named storms."
Mr Dean added that most seasons have on average 10 named storms.
"But I do not like to focus too much on the numbers. Because as we have seen over the years and in particular the last year, all it takes is one major storm to really destroy a community. And we have certainly seen that over the last three to four years.
"Over the last several years, we've seen an uptick in tropical cyclone activity in The Bahamas.
"Last year we had a major hurricane that moved through the southeast Bahamas, leaving behind significant damage. The year before that was another major storm.
"With that being said we should keep our guards up and do all the necessary things that will help us survive a storm, should one approach us.
"Preparedness is key."
Pre-seasonal precautions include ensuring shutters and roofs are repaired. Trees should also be trimmed back, especially those near utility lines.
"That will certainly minimise the amount of down utility lines, which can affect both power and communications. Just (through) these small things, we can keep ourselves safe through the process of a storm," Mr Dean said.