Tropical storm developing north of the Bahamas

Saturday 16th May 2020

The only feature across the reporting region today is our first disturbance of the season, which is expected to become the first named storm of 2020. This has now passed over the northern Bahamas, currently centred around midships between Palm Beach and Grand Bahama and tracking to the north-nor'east at around 8 knots. This has some shape to it now and looks to be producing some meaningful vertical convection, which may generate tropical storm characteristics tonight. At peak, this will produce winds of 45 knots as it makes its closest approach to the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Monday, some 150 miles off. This should not have too much impact ashore, aside from few heavy rain squalls, as most of the muck and filth is pushed to the east of the centre by upper level steering currents. The predicted strength at peak has reduced since yesterday, with a revised hurricane severity index rating of just 4 out of 50 points (2 for size and 2 for intensity).

The majority view is that this will curve away harmlessly seaward once it has brushed the Outer Banks, although one or two US agencies, and our old friend the Blind Sniper, have this swiping the eastern seaboard, but I don't see that myself.

Stand by for tropical storm conditions between the northern Bahamas and the Outer Banks, otherwise, stand easy.