What appeared to be a freak weather pattern that passed over New Providence Wednesday afternoon, was in fact nothing out of the ordinary, according to Deputy Chief Meteorologist Basil Dean, who said the island was experiencing the effects of Tropical Storm Beryl.
Light intermittent rain fell on New Providence in the morning hours until sometime after 2:00 p.m., when the rain turned torrential, blanketing the island.
Extreme rolling thunder and multiple bursts of lightning lit the sky Wednesday as an extreme tropical wave made its way over the island.
Many persons seemed to have been caught off guard by the flash storm-like conditions yesterday, but Dean confirmed that the tropical wave was all a part of Beryl, which is currently making its trek through The Bahamas.
“Sometimes you will find that the rainfall and other conditions experienced during these tropical storms are actually more acute than what you would expect or experience during a hurricane,” shared Dean.
“This is why we always issue severe storm warnings to ensure that everyone is aware and on guard to remain safe.”
The department issued a severe weather warning Wednesday for a number of islands, New Providence included.
Dean issued a special warning to beachgoers and mariners as Beryl is still in the vicinity of the northwest Bahamas.
“You should stay out of the water during thunderstorm activity and this is mainly because of lightning discharges,” he said.
“If you are in the water during these periods, you leave yourself open to these strikes, which are known to be deadly.”
Motorists were cautioned to be on high alert during squalls as well.
“During times of heavy rain, you would want to do the sensible thing and stay in doors as much as you can,” he cautioned.
“Motorists should be as cautious as they can because roads can be very slippery and we want to minimize any potential traffic accidents due to flooded roads.”
The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season is predicted to be a busy one.
Dean confirmed that the Meteorology Department is well equipped to ensure that Bahamians are kept abreast pre, during and post-storm activity.
“We have just installed two brand new Doppler radars. One here in New Providence at Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA). The second one is in Marsh Harbour, Abaco.
“Those two systems are currently radiating and we are seeing great results from them.
“In the not too distant future, we will be installing another Doppler radar in Long Island and the fourth one will be installed in Mayaguana. That will give us full coverage for the entire country.”
Dean noted that Beryl is expected to have moved away from The Bahamas by Friday.
He gave further assurances that pleasant weather conditions are expected to prevail as soon as Saturday.