By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
HEAVY localised showers and strong thunderstorms could hamper restoration efforts in hurricane ravaged Grand Bahama and Abaco over the next few days.
The Bahamas Department of Meteorology is closely monitoring three weather systems, but none with any high chance of developing into a tropical depression or storm over the country.
At a National Emergency Management Agency briefing yesterday, Chief Meteorologist Arnold King stressed it was too early to predict whether any of the systems would develop into Tropical Storm Humberto, the next named storm on the 2019 roster.
"Long range forecasts are inherently inaccurate," Mr King said, "it's impossible for anyone to say that there is going to be Humberto passing through with this system that is passing through the Bahamas now. It might be Humberto when it's passing through the Gulf of Mexico. But it's impossible to say this far out that we are going to have a storm that will form and take the direct path of Dorian, that's impossible."
The first system was moving across the southeast Bahamas yesterday, and is expected to bring widespread showers and thunderstorms to the capital sometime today. The system is forecast to move over Abaco, Grand Bahama and Bimini tomorrow and Saturday.
It has a 20 percent chance of developing into a tropical storm over the Bahamas within the next 48 hours, and a 60 percent chance of developing over the next five days. Those chances increase once it moves into the Gulf of Mexico, he said.
While the system will bring localised showers, Mr King told reporters the heavy rain won't be consistent in all areas.
But still he noted low-lying and flood-prone zones could experience flooding, and on battered islands, this could "hamper restoration efforts for a short time".
"Also in the tropics," Mr King continued, "we have a broad low pressure system associated with a tropical wave located 650 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. It's accompanied by large but disorganised area of cloudiness and thunderstorms. This system forecast to move westward into unfavourable conditions for tropical cyclone formation. Formation chance through the next 48 hours is ten percent, and through the next five days it is also low at ten percent."
As for the third system, Mr King said: "A tropical wave located between the west coast of Africa and the Cape Verde islands is forecast to move quickly westward over the next couple days.
"Some slow development is possible over the weekend or early next week when system is moving through the tropical Atlantic," he added.
This system had zero chance of developing into a storm over the next 48 hours, and 20 percent over the next five days.