April 20, 2019 – Scientists at NOAA’s National Hurricane Center conducted a detailed post-storm analysis on all the data available for Hurricane Michael and have determined that the storm’s estimated intensity at landfall was 140 knots (160 mph). This final wind intensity is a 5 knot (5 mph) increase over the operational estimate and makes Michael a category 5 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale at the time of landfall on October 10, 2018, near Mexico Beach and Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.
Michael is the first hurricane to make landfall in the United States as a category 5 since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and only the fourth on record. The others are the Labor Day Hurricane in 1935 and Hurricane Camille in 1969. Michael is also the strongest hurricane landfall on record in the Florida Panhandle and only the second known category 5 landfall on the northern Gulf coast.
The real-time operational intensity estimate was 135 knots (155 mph). The final best track intensity estimate of 140 knots (160 mph) was determined by a review of the available aircraft winds, surface winds, surface pressures, satellite intensity estimates and Doppler radar velocities – including data and analyses that were not available in real time. The 5 knot (5 mph) increase in the estimated maximum sustained wind speed from the operational estimate is small and well within the normal range of uncertainty.
Category 5 winds were likely experienced over a very small area at and near the coast, and the change in estimated wind speeds is of little practical significance in terms of the impacts associated with the storm. Michael produced devastating winds and storm surge and was directly responsible for 16 deaths and about $25 billion in damage in the United States. Before hitting the United States, the cyclone brought hurricane-force winds to the western tip of Cuba when it was a category 2 Hurricane.
Along with wind speed, atmospheric pressure is a measure of storm intensity. In general, the lower a storm’s central pressure, the higher the winds. Michael’s central pressure of 919 millibars (mb) at landfall is the third lowest on record for a landfalling U. S. hurricane since reliable records began in 1900, trailing only the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 (892 mb) and Hurricane Camille of 1969 (900 mb).
Dennis Feltgen, 305-229-4404, 305-433-1933 (cell)
NOAA Press Release
New Look, New Tactics as TCI Border Force set to start October
#TurksandCaicos, September 29, 2023 – The Turks and Caicos Border Force will be up and running by next month according to Arlington Musgrove, Minister of Immigration and Border Services who gave a national update on the progress of the squad during a recent parliamentary meeting.
“We now have a date of October 30th, 2023 for the launch of the first phase,” he explained. The force has been described as ‘revolutionary by Anya Williams, Deputy Governor.
Musgrove was speaking in the House of Assembly on September 20th and revealed that this initial phase will incorporate the Customs and Border Protection agencies as well as the Intelligence and Corporate Units.
Musgrove explained that the Corporate Unit would serve as a sort of auditor for the Border Force and the Ministry.
“Our Corporate Unit will include our assurance functions that will audit our processes and our actions to ensure that we are upholding the mission, vision, and principles of our Border Force,” he said.
The minister is promising updated operating structures, agents with new skills and a new look with updated uniforms, all in an effort to tighten the country’s security at its very porous borders.
The Force is aiming to secure the TCI against human and drug trafficking (which in recent weeks have shown an alarming correlation), arms trafficking, poaching and more.
“Not only will we look different, but we will also work differently – and that is what is key,” the minister promised.
The Force will be under the control of Emilio Seymour who was appointed Director General back in April.
More security features, including the long-awaited container scanners for the country’s ports, are also on the Minister’s agenda.
CUBAN MIGRANTS DETAINED ALONG EXUMA CHAIN
Defence Headquarters 28 SEP ’23: HMBS P-45 under the command of Chief Petty Officer Acadia Smith detained a group of Cuban migrants in Cistern Cay, Exuma on September 27, 2023, due to information received from a Good Samaritan vessel in the area that handed them over to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.
Members of HMBS P-45 retrieved twenty-eight (28) Cuban nationals and transported them to HMBS Coral Harbour in New Providence. All individuals appeared to be in good health and will undergo further processing and assessment by Immigration officials.
The Royal Bahamas Defence Force remains dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in guarding our heritage and appreciates the sharing of information and intelligence provided by the boating community to affect migrants and other unlawful interdictions at sea.
(For additional information, contact the RBDF Public Relations Department or visit our official website at www.rbdf.gov.bs. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and explore our engaging content on our YouTube channel).
Budget Boost, $437.6 Million for fiscal year as Supplementary tabled in Parliament
#TurksandCaicos, September 30, 2023 – The first Supplementary Appropriations Bill for the 2023/24 financial year will add $13.4 million to the National Budget, sweeping the record $424 million allotment to $437.6 million.
The bill was tabled in the House of Assembly by E Jay Sanders, Finance Minister on Tuesday September 26th and the bulk of the cash will go to recurrent expenditure which commands $12.8 million. Capital expenditure came in at just over $700,000.
That extra cash will help with several initiatives stated below:
- $4.2 million dollars will go to community development, including road improvement and more.
- $1.4 million dollars will be spent on a Community Centre in Bottle Creek and 450 thousand on the long-awaited refurbishment of the sports field in South Caicos.
- $1.4million dollars for consultancies,
- $1 million dollars will be sent to bolster the repatriation budget as the country experiences record migration.
- $1 million goes to Social Programs.
- InterHealth Canada will get another $1.8 million.
- The country’s Climate Resilience Coastal Protection Study will get a $500,000 injection.
- The software being built and consultancy being carried out to get the Turks and Caicos off the EU blacklist will cost $851,000.
- $2 million dollars is earmarked for the cleaning of government agencies.
Laid under the theme, Strengthening Resilience Enhancing Community Welfare through Strategic Investments and Sustainable Development, Saunders said this bill was created with the community in mind.
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