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TD #9 gets a name; Tropical Storm Isaias forms packing 60mph winds



Courtesy of The Bahamas Department of Meteorology

#AtlanticBasin – July 30, 2020 – Tropical Depression number nine, forecast to become the earliest ‘I’ named storm in history has finally earned that name: Isaias.  In the wee hours of Thursday morning, TD#9 evolved from a tropical depression to a Tropical Storm with wind gusts up to 60 mph.

The National Hurricane Center, at 2 a.m. informed that Puerto Rico should expect strong rain bands from the tropical storm which has triggered storm watches and warnings for at least 10 Caribbean region countries.

Tropical Storm Isaias slowed from racing across the region at nearly 30 mph to now pacing at 21 mph in a north-westerly direction.  Hispaniola, home to Haiti and the Dominican Republic will experience storm conditions this morning and worse, the storm could become a killer.

“Isaias will produce heavy rains and potentially life-threatening flash flooding and mudslides across the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, northern Haiti, and over the southeastern Bahamas.”

The Turks and Caicos Islands, which has been on Tropical Storm Watch since Wednesday at 12 a.m. has announced a national lockdown by noon Thursday and shelters are due to open at 4pm.

The southeastern Bahamas will experience conditions on Thursday afternoon and the central Bahama islands are predicted to shoulder powerful 60 mph wind conditions throughout the day on Friday.

“Tropical storm conditions are expected in the Central Bahamas beginning Friday morning and are possible in the northwestern Bahamas beginning late Friday.”


The National Hurricane Center advisory informs that British Virgin Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, northern Haiti, Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos and eastern Cuba will receive between three and six inches of rain.

Even higher rainfalls are forecast for The Bahamas; from four to eight inches. Life threatening surf and rip currents are expected from today due to approaching Tropical Storm Isaias. 

“Swells generated by Isaias will be affecting portions of the Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico through today. These swells are forecast to reach the north coast of the Dominican Republic, the Turks and Caicos Islands and the southeastern Bahamas this morning.”

The National Hurricane Center, in the latest advisory informs:

The Tropical Storm Warning for St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, St.

Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius has been discontinued.


A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…

* Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra

* U.S. Virgin Islands

* British Virgin Islands

* Dominican Republic entire southern and northern coastlines

* North coast of Haiti from Le Mole St Nicholas eastward to the

northern border with the Dominican Republic

* Turks and Caicos Islands

* Southeastern Bahamas including the Acklins, Crooked Island, Long

Cay, the Inaguas, Mayaguana, and the Ragged Islands

* Central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island,

Rum Cay, and San Salvador

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for…

* Northwestern Bahamas including Andros Island, New Providence, Eleuthera, Abacos Islands, Berry Islands, Grand Bahamas Island, and Bimini

Interests in Cuba and the Florida peninsula should monitor the progress of this system.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area within 36 hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, generally within 48 hours.

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World Temperatures to increase above 1.5C threshold says WMO



By Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer


May 23, 2023 – It’s about get even hotter as the UN agency says scientists have warned that the world may experience rising temperatures above the 1.5 Celsius threshold, due to El Niño and human induced climate breakdown, which could have serious consequences putting us into uncharted territory, even though it was initially predicted that the chances of temperature rise above the 1.5C was zero.

This would be failing to keep the promise made by countries in 2015 under the Paris Climate Agreement to keep global temperatures lower than 1.5C above pre-industrial levels (1850 to 1900), following advice from scientists that warming beyond the superior level could be catastrophic resulting in irremediable outcomes.

The report published on Wednesday, May 17th, 2023, by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), highlighted that there is a 66 percent chance of exceeding the 1.5 Celsius mark at least one year between 2023 and 2027.

However, according to Professor Petteri Taalas, Secretary General of WMO, the rise in temperature will not be permanent.

“This report does not mean that we will permanently exceed the 1.5C specified in the Paris agreement, which refers to long-term warming over many years. However, WMO is sounding the alarm that we will breach the 1.5C level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency.”

Climate breakdown from human activity and the development of the El Niño weather system, as La Niña ends, creates heat waves across the globe.

The La Niña phase, which the world was in for the past three years, had diminished high temperatures around the world.  Now with El Niño, which is expected to develop in the coming months, there is a 98 percent chance that at least one of the next five years will be the hottest ever recorded, scientists say.

It is predicted that each year from 2023 to 2027, the global near-surface temperature will be between 1.1C and 1.8C, above the highlighted pre-industrial levels.

Despite the fact that this rise in temperature is said to be temporary, the effects should not be taken lightly, especially since the world is already seeing negative impacts of warming.

Rising temperatures can lead to serious outcomes, such as death by heatwaves, which from 2016 to 2021, were above the five-year average in every heat-period, with a total of 12,598 excess deaths (9.3% above average, 119 average excess deaths per day; longer droughts; wildfires; shrinking of glaciers and ice sheets; wind intensity and rainfall from tropical cyclones, as well as other serious effects.

Additionally, there will likely be less rainfall in the Amazon, Central America, Australia and Indonesia, according to the report.

For the Amazon, this poses a threat to the region’s rainforest which is what it’s known for. Scientists fear the warming and human deforestation could destroy the region, turning it into more of a savanna.

November of this year will see the meeting of   governments for the Cop28 UN climate summit, where progress towards meeting the goals of the Paris agreement will be examined. The “global stock take”, as the assessment is called, will likely highlight that the world is not close to  reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the stipulated  43 percent this decade that is required to have a good chance of limiting temperature rises to 1.5C.

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Bahamas News

Hurricane Measurement Scale, Are we getting it right?



By Dana Malcolm 

Staff Writer 



May 5, 2023 – ‘A Category 5 is on the way.’ It’s a statement that would cause immediate concern in even the youngest of residents in the Atlantic Basin; so ingrained is the Saffir-Simpson scale in our understanding of hurricanes, but some say with the effects of climate change at our door it’s time for a change.

The Saffir-Simpson scale is the internationally accepted method of grading the intensity/strength of hurricanes created in 1973. The scale uses wind speed to grade the strength of hurricanes, a classification some say is outdated because it excludes other deadly factors and characteristics of horrible storms.

The only change that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has made in over a decade is a slight change in the wind speed of categories three, four, and five to remedy mix-ups when converting the wind speeds to miles or kilometres per hour.

Citing storm surges (which cause flooding and drowning deaths), rain, the discrepancy between hurricane wind speed at sea and on land, the sea level pressure of storms and other factors, scientists say it’s time to upgrade the way we think about the storms and their intensity.

Phil Klotzbach, Meteorologist at Colorado State University in his research on storms in the US says, pressure is more skillful than wind at predicting normalised hurricane damage and intensity while simultaneously being easier to measure.

Pressure is partially responsible for storm surge.

Rain and Storm surge are important factors for low lying island nations, especially those bisected by water like the Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas.  A high enough storm surge or enough flooding can be deadly, cutting off evacuation routes before storms and emergency personnel after; trapping people in their homes or pulling them out to sea.

NOAA lists storm surge as the factor that causes the most deaths in hurricanes, but the Saffir-Simpson Scale does not currently measure this.

In 2018, two writers for Yale School of the Environment Rob Young and Katie Mcdowell Peek agreed that wind alone was not enough to focus on as a predictor of hurricane strength. They cite hurricanes Florence (cat 1), Katrina (cat 3), and Harvey (cat 4), and Tropical Storm Sandy, devastating storms in the US with high death tolls driven not by wind but by the dozens of inches of rainfall and massive storm surges they brought.

“All of these storms have one thing in common: The hazards they unleashed were not adequately described by the traditional hurricane classification system,” they argue.

These researchers outright call for the Saffir-Simpson Scale to be done away with and a new system created.

This is not to say that wind has no bearing on a hurricane’s ferocity or that it is to be overlooked; rather the researchers say it should take a backseat to other risk factors. Under Klotzbach’s system pressure would be the defining factor for categorising hurricanes rather than wind speed.

“The real danger from all of these systems is water, not wind— water can completely reconfigure a barrier island shoreline by opening new inlets, knocking down dunes, and pushing entire islands landward. The impact of wind can’t compare,” Young and Peak argue.

It is especially important to consider and broadcast this information when talking about hurricanes, they say, as ocean temperatures rise, ice caps melt and sea levels get higher.

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Ft Lauderdale Record Rain



By Rashaed Esson

Staff Writer



#USA, April 17, 2023 – Over 25 inches of rain have been reported over Coastal areas in Florida due to storms gushing over the state.  Last Wednesday, April 12th, Fort Lauderdale reported almost 30-inches of water flooding the area.

The Thursday following, Palm Beaches and the Treasure Coast area were slightly  threatened with severe storms in the afternoon and evening hours.

Fort Lauderdale was drenched in 25.95-inches of rainfall.  Daina Beaches recorded 21.41 inches.

Areas of I-95, Florida’s main north-south traffic artery were also flooded for hours.

It is alarming how quickly areas were flooded.

AccuWeather had informed, that various areas experienced as much as 20-inches of water in just as little as six-hours.

The seriousness of the level of rainfall that’s causing flooding in the state forced the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood Airport to close as well as all public schools. The high speed commuter rail service was also suspended.

The Florida rain was described as rare by Ana Torrez-Vasquez, the weather service meteorologist.

She said it was a 1 in 1,000-year event which means that it is so heavy that the chances of it happening in a given year is a mere 0.1 percent.

The most recent reports by WESH 2 meteorologists  declared Sunday a First Warning Impact day. T his means there is a possibility for stronger storms.

Today storms rained down on Central Florida with heavy rain and very strong winds which left damage in some areas.

Brevard County Fire Rescue informed that a roof was ripped off a mobile home situated in Barefoot Bay, due to the strong winds.

Fortunately, no one was left injured.  Red Cross is also helping the family.

It’s is anticipated that the coming week will see drier and less humid weather.

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