Below average hurricane season predicted
NASSAU, BAHAMAS – The final two installments for the upgraded Doppler radar network in The Bahamas will be completed by mid-December 2019, according to Chief Meteorologist Basil Dean.
Speaking to Eyewitness News Online about projections for the upcoming 2019 Hurricane season, Dean said three new radars were installed in Marsh Harbour, Abaco and Long Island.
Another two radars are set to be installed in Mayaguana and Ragged Island.
“That will give us a full complement of five; four brand new and one refurbished,” Dean said.
“The coverage [will be] a lot more than we had in the past because we now have Abaco, which is covering the entire northwest Bahamas, and that overlaps with Nassau, which covers the central Bahamas.
“Long Island is giving us coverage in the southeast, save for one little small spot.
“We are basically; all those there in terms of our complete coverage.
“Mayaguana will take us even a little further to pick up the Turks and Caicos Islands and slightly beyond.”
In March 2017, the government said four new Doppler radars will be installed on the various islands to improve functionality of the department.
The coverage is also expected the Department of Meteorology to more effectively forewarn the public against major natural disaster events such as hurricanes.
The $20 million contract awarded to Finnish-based Vaisala.
The radars installations were expected to be completed by November 2018.
The existing radar system on New Providence was also set to be refurbished.
Basil said yesterday that process has been completed.
Below average season
According to the Colorado State University’s preliminary forecast by researchers Philip Klotzbach, Michael Bell and Jhordanne Jones, which was released last week, Forecasters have predicted a “slightly below normal” hurricane season with 13 named storm, five hurricanes and a 39 percent chance of a major hurricane trekking into the Caribbean.
In an average hurricane season, there are 12 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes.
Major hurricanes comprise of Category 3 or higher with sustained winds of at least 111 miler per hour.
Two major hurricanes are projected for the upcoming season, according to the forecast.
The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1 and ends November 30.
Chief Meteorologist Basil Dean said debating whether the season is above or below average is secondary to preparedness.
“We don’t want our people to get a false sense of security by the numbers because even though it may be 13 or 12, out of that 12 all we need is one of them.
“Preparedness is what we have to continue to encourage our people to do.
“From experience we know it does work and it does save lives.”