THURSDAY EVENING UPDATE: HURRICANE Dorian could intensify into a “very damaging” 156mph Category Four storm that lingers for hours in the Bahamas, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dan Kottlowski Thursday.
In an interview with The Tribune, Mr Kottlowski said new computer models show that when Dorian passes over Grand Bahama and Abaco this weekend, there is the potential for it to develop into a more powerful storm.
These models predict Hurricane Dorian making landfall on those islands Sunday and into Monday, he said.
BPL Latest Tropical Update / Projected Tack and Cone of Impact for Hurricane Dorian
By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
WITH former Tropical Storm Dorian intensifying into a Category One hurricane yesterday afternoon, Department of Meteorology Chief Meteorologist Basil Dean yesterday confirmed Abaco will receive most of the effects of the storm.
Describing Hurricane Dorian as a “rainfall system”, Mr Dean noted the storm will mostly move in a “parallel motion” to the archipelago, and the southeast Bahamas will begin experiencing its effects tonight.
He added the central Bahamas will be impacted Friday evening into Saturday morning and the north west Bahamas on Saturday morning through Sunday.
In this vein, National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) Director Stephen Russell yesterday urged Bahamians across the archipelago to adequately prepare for the approaching storm, as he noted the government’s overall response and recovery mechanisms are “ready”.
“As far as New Providence is concerned, we expect Dorian to pass right to the east,” Mr Dean told The Tribune.
“We will certainly get some rain… some of the feeder bands will dump some showers over New Providence as it passes. So we’re looking at a parallel motion to the island chain until it approaches North Eleuthera headed toward the Abacos, a shift towards the west is anticipated.
“The core of the winds could come very close to the Abacos before taking a sharp westerly turn toward the Florida peninsula. So we’re looking at still it being a rainfall system as opposed to one of significant winds.”
“The feeder bands will certainly generate some showers, some of which will be heavy at times,” Mr Dean continued.
“Abaco perhaps would get some tropical storm force winds…because the storm has also grown in size. So the maximum sustained winds suspend outwards I think about 85 miles from the centre. So It could come within about 65 miles of the Abacos.”
“We’re looking at about 85 maybe 95mph of the Tropical Storm force winds from the centre of the system,” he added.
When asked if Abaco is expected to feel most of the effects, Mr Dean replied: “Out of all the islands, yes, Abaco would receive the most of it”.
Mr Dean noted the southeast Bahamas will begin seeing effects from Hurricane Dorian Thursday night and Friday. The central Bahamas will begin to experience the effects Friday evening going into Saturday morning and the northwest Bahamas Saturday morning into Sunday morning.
By Sunday night the system is expected to be out of the Bahamas.
During a press conference held yesterday morning, Department of Meteorology Senior Deputy Director Jeffrey Simmons noted the previously issued alert for the southeast Bahamas has been discontinued.
Mr Simmons added watches and warnings for the northern Bahamas could possible be released either today or tomorrow should Dorian remain on its projected path.
He noted the islands of the central and southeast Bahamas could “experience some possible sever weather activities, some showers and thunderstorms from the outer bands of Dorian”.
Speaking at this same event, Captain Russell urged people to secure their homes, properties, businesses, and assets - not just for Hurricane Dorian, but any other potential storms.
Noting forecasters predicted 17 named storms for this hurricane season, which will end November 30, Captain Russell said: “At this point we’re now at the 5th named storm, so we’re again stressing for the entire Bahamas to be prepared for what may come from the remainder of the hurricane season over the next minus 100 days”.
“In terms of being prepared, The Bahamas we have been over the past five years we have had to endure three major storms and now this fourth storm is upon on us. So we figure we should be a resilient people at this point in time. In the past five years we have suffered losses and damage to the extent of almost $820m.”
Hurricane Dorian made landfall in Puerto Rico yesterday.
“From Puerto Rico to off Grand Bahama that’s almost 600 miles (of ocean),” Captain Russell said. “So there is a possibility for the storm to intensify as it moves along that part.
“North Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, as well as Abaco, (these) are some vulnerable areas,” he continued.
“We know with Eleuthera there’s the Glass Window Bridge and we always have challenges with the Glass Window Bridge when there is a tropical system in that general area,” he added. “So (we are) advising persons in the northern Eleuthera area who need to traverse (the bridge) to be mindful of where the storm is at all times.”
Captain Russell also admonished boaters who traverse between Samana Cay, Acklins and Crooked Island to be careful.
“In Abaco there are some vulnerable areas. Sandy Point, Abaco (is) a low-lying area and it susceptible to flooding. Central Abaco area, the Marsh Harbour area, that’s a vulnerable area where you have the Mud and those other migrant communities. They are susceptible to serious damage.”
He also pointed out Sweeting Cay and East Grand Bahama as low-lying areas that are susceptible to flooding.
“From a government standpoint, the government’s mechanism is ready. NEMA (has) been having (its) series of meetings from February of this year.
“In June of this year we had a major disaster exercise with all government agencies, ministries and departments, where we did a test case of a category four storm impacting New Providence, and that exercise went very well.
“So all the agencies of government, our overall response and recovery mechanism(s), they have all been tested and are ready to respond as necessary…Our aim is to make sure people are prepared for whatever may come.”