NASSAU, BAHAMAS — As a weather system intensifies off the east coast of the Florida peninsula, local meteorologists said today it is “doubtful” that the system will strengthen into the category of a tropical storm.
However, heavy downpour and moderate flooding in low-lying areas can be expected for parts of the central and northern Bahamas, according to officials.
As of 2 p.m. Monday, showers and thunderstorms had increased as a result of the low-pressure system located near Andros.
The National Hurricane Center said while environmental conditions were only marginally conducive for development, “only a slight increase in the organization of this system could result in the formation of a tropical depression later today or tonight”.
The system is also expected to produce gusty winds over portions of the country, and had a 60 percent chance of cyclone development within the next 48 hours.
The system was moving north-northwestward at approximately 15 miles per hour.
Speaking to Eyewitness News Online, Chief Climatological Officer Michael Stubbs said there has been “quite a bit of shower and thunderstorm activity” that has increased since this morning, and noted that there were already reports of some flooding in low-lying areas in the central and northern Bahamas.
“There is a 60 percent chance based on collaboration with the National Hurricane Center that the system may have the potential to actually enhance or intensify slightly, but there is some doubt,” Stubbs said.
“Based on the confidence in the models, we don’t expect [it] to really become anything of real significance like a tropical storm. We don’t believe it will reach tropical storm strength at any time.”
According to Stubbs, who said meteorologists will continue to monitor the system carefully, it is expected that after this evening, unfavorable conditions — dry air from the east, and strong winds aloft — will cause the system to lose status.
An advisory from the Department of Meteorology said a “suspicious” trough of low pressure is expected to continue to bring unsettled weather across The Bahamas.
The department advised boaters to be on alert for potential waterspouts and cautioned beachgoers about the risk of rip currents.