Despite the extraordinary challenges facing our nation from the global pandemic sweeping around the globe, it would appear that The Bahamas will become the first nation in the world to also experience a Tropical Cyclone whilst under 'Lockdown' and/or Curfew to help fight the deadly virus' spread across our islands.
The overall structure of the disturbance has not changed much since this morning. New clusters of convection have developed over the northern portion of the elongated circulation and the Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft has been unable to find a well-defined centre. The latest dynamical model guidance still suggests that the system will consolidate over the next 12-18 hours and become a tropical storm before it reaches the Leeward Islands on Wednesday.
Discussion & Outlook
At 5:00PM EST, the disturbance was centred near latitude 14.4 North, longitude 55.0 West. The system is moving toward west to the westnorthwest at 23 mph (37 km/h). This general motion should continue during the next few days. On the forecast track, the system is forecast to move through the Leeward Islands on Wednesday, and near or over the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday night, and near or over Hispaniola on Thursday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 230 miles (370 km) primarily to the northeast of the centre. Tropical storm conditions are expected to reach the Leeward Islands on Wednesday and spread into the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning - reaching the Southern then Central Bahamas within the next 96-120 hours respectively
Maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph (65 km/h) with higher gusts. Some strengthening is expected during the next 48 hours
The potential tropical cyclone will produce total rain accumulation of 3 to 6 inches with maximum amounts of 10 inches across the northern Leeward Islands, British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Rainfall accumulations of 2 to 4 inches possible across the Windward Islands. This rainfall may produce life threatening flash floods and mudslides, as well as potential severe flooding in low lying areas
Storm Surge: Unknown at this time due to lack of state-of-the-art sensing and reporting equipment.