Another Tropical Cyclone Threat for the Bahamas, as Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine Forecast to Move Across the Islands

At 5:00 PM AST, the National Hurricane Center began issuing advisories on Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine, 500 kilometers southeast of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island.

A potential tropical cyclone means that it is expected to bring tropical-storm-conditions or hurricane conditions to land in the next 48 hours, even though it is not yet a named tropical system.

The potential tropical cyclone was centered near latitude 23.7 North, longitude 74.8 West. The system is expected to move toward the northwest near 8 mph (13 km/h), and this motion is forecast to continue during the next 2 days. On this track, the system is anticipated to move across the northwestern Bahamas on Friday, and along or over the east coast of central Florida on Saturday.

Forecast Cone for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine
Forecast Cone for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine

Maximum sustained winds are near 45 KM/H with higher gusts to 65 KM/H. The disturbance is forecast to become a tropical depression or a tropical storm during the next day or so.

Environmental conditions are favorable for a tropical depression or
tropical storm to form within the next day or two.

  • Formation chance through 48 hours – high at 70 percent
  • Formation chance through 5 days – high – 80 percent

The estimated minimum central pressure is 1008 millibars.

Watches & Warnings

Watches and Warnings for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine
Watches and Warnings for Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island.

The government of the Bahamas has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the following islands in the northwestern Bahamas the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours.

Interests along the east coast of Florida should monitor the progress of this system.

Hazards Affecting Land

Wind: Tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area in the northwest Bahamas by late Friday.

Rainfall: The system is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches (50-100 millimeters) through Sunday over the Bahamas and along the east coast of Florida north of West Palm Beach. Isolated maximum amounts of 7 inches (150 millimeters) are possible in the northwest and central Bahamas. Street and flash flooding likely.

This tropical storm is of no threat to the Lesser Antilles, including Trinidad and Tobago.

Potential Tropical Storm Nine Discussion

The disturbance in the southeastern Bahamas has not developed a closed circulation yet, but the cloud pattern is gradually becoming better organized. An Air Force plane is currently approaching the disturbance, and will give NHC more details on the structure of the system. Advisories are being initiated on this system as a Potential Tropical Cyclone to allow for the issuance of a tropical storm warning for a portion of the northwest Bahamas after consultation with the meteorological service of that country.

The system is still under the influence of strong shear caused by an upper-level low in the Gulf of Mexico. As the disturbance moves away from the upper low, conditions are expected to be a little more conducive for development as indicated in the intensity forecast. With the exception of the GFS, which forecasts a vigorous trough crossing Florida into the Gulf of Mexico, the remainder of the global models develop a tropical cyclone near the northwestern Bahamas and move it as an intensifying system very close to the east coast of Florida. The NHC forecast opted for the solution of these latter models, however, it is emphasized that given the model discrepancy, both the track and intensity forecasts are highly uncertain.

Humberto is the next name on the list of names for the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

Key Messages:

  1. The disturbance is expected to become a tropical storm and bring tropical-storm-force winds to portions of the northwest Bahamas within 36 hours. As a result, advisories have been initiated on Potential Tropical Cyclone Nine. Note that forecast uncertainty for these disturbances is generally larger than for tropical cyclones, especially beyond 48-72 hours.
  2. The system is expected to bring tropical-storm-force winds and heavy rainfall to portions of the northwest Bahamas on Friday and Saturday. Significant storm surge is not expected in the northwest Bahamas from this system. Residents there should follow any advice given by local officials.
  3. The system could bring tropical-storm-force winds and rainfall to portions of the Florida east coast over the weekend. Residents there should monitor the progress of this system.

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