WEDNESDAY 9AM UPDATE
BPL Street Smart Tropical Update & Cone of Impact courtesy of IBM / Bahamas “First Alert” Avaition, Climate & Severe Weather Network
By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
IT IS still too early to tell whether Tropical Storm Dorian will strengthen into a hurricane in time to affect the country.
The storm’s track has moved further east over the last 24 hours, weakening a bit as it moved through the Windward Islands.
Last night, Dorian was moving generally on a northwestern course toward Puerto Rico and was no longer expected to develop into a hurricane before it makes landfall there.
But even if Puerto Rico’s mountainous terrain significantly weakens the system, forecasters say it will still be a strong storm with winds of 60 mph to 70 mph.
The Bahamas Department of Meteorology began issuing alerts on Dorian at 2pm yesterday.
Duty forecaster Gregory Thompson told The Tribune models currently projected the storm to pass somewhere southeast of the Bahamas, “well to the southeast”.
However, he noted the storm’s track won’t be clear until after it moves over Puerto Rico, and passes Hispaniola.
“It really won’t be clear until it passes Hispaniola but because it’s shifting more towards the east track,” Mr Thompson said. “The centre is moving over Puerto Rico, the core will be moving across landmass so that will tend to weaken it some but that won’t happen until Thursday morning.”
This was echoed by meteorologists at US-based weather service AccuWeather.
“It’s going to go over land,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski, “that will disrupt the circulation and that can slow its ability to intensify as it moves towards the Bahamas. Right now it probably will have a good chance of reorganising and trying to restrengthen as it moves northwest through the Bahamas on Friday and Saturday. It will gradually increase in intensity but we’re not sure it will have time to become a hurricane by the time it makes its way up close to the northern Bahamas.
“Right now the current forecast has it passing east now of Nassau and just to the east or right over the eastern most portion of Grand Bahama during late Saturday and Saturday night but we do expect it to turn on a more northwestern course and move inland towards Florida.
“It may have enough time to strengthen to a hurricane before it makes landfall, before Florida. There is still a lot of uncertainty, moving over mountains of western Puerto Rico it’s possible it may get ripped up. The latest computer models are showing it having a much better chance of becoming organised when it moves through the Bahamas - but not in enough time to impact the country as a hurricane,” he said.