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Weather disturbance near Bahamas being closely monitored

Local May 12, 2020 at 10:22 am Eyewitness News

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Meteorologists continue to closely monitor an area of disturbed weather that could develop into a tropical storm near The Bahamas.

The development of the system is two weeks out from the beginning of the hurricane season, which begins June 1 and is expected to be above average.

According to reports, the center of the semi-tropical feature and most of the inclement weather is expected to remain east of the United States, but some impact could affected “beaches of the U.S. and perhaps more significant on the islands offshore”.

“It appears this system, should it form, will likely be lopsided with a considerable amount of dry air on its westward side, closest to the U.S., and showers and thunderstorms on its eastern side, over the Bahamas,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson said.

In an advisory this morning, the Department of Meteorology said a cold front across the area will continue to drift slowly southeastwards and stall over the central Bahamas as high pressure builds in its wake.

The department cautioned that heavy thunderstorms, strong winds and the potential for waterspouts and tornadic activity could be expected over portions of the northwest and central Bahamas Wednesday through Saturday.

It said residents in the northwest and central Bahamas should prepare for possible flooding, especially in low-lying areas due to long periods of rain.

The 2019 hurricane season marked the fourth consecutive year of above-average activity in the basin and was tied with 1969 for the fourth most-active hurricane season on record.

According to AccuWeather meteorologists last week, the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is expected to have 14 to 20 tropical storms, with additions to the number of storms becoming hurricanes increasing to from seven to 11. Four to six could become major hurricanes.

Meteorologists have previously projected 14 to 18 tropical storms with seven to nine of them becoming hurricanes, and two to four strengthening into major hurricanes.

The Bahamas continues to recover from Hurricane Dorian last September.

The record Category 5 storm is estimated to have caused $3.4 billion in total losses.

The country’s economy largely remains at a standstill amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Named storms to form in the Atlantic will be called Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly and Edouard, among others. 

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