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Heavy rain likely as trough organises

Storm systems around the Atlantic (Graphic from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

Meteorologists warned an area of bad weather south of Bermuda could become a tropical storm today or tomorrow.

The US-based National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday the disturbance had a 50 per cent chance of becoming a cyclone by tomorrow morning, but would ,in any case, bring heavy rain to the island.

The organisation said: “Showers and thunderstorms associated with a trough of low pressure, located several hundred miles south of Bermuda, were showing some signs of organisation. “Development of this disturbance is possible, during the next couple of days, while it moves northward.

“Interests in Bermuda should monitor the progress of this system. Periods of heavy rainfall are likely to impact Bermuda.”

James Dodgson, the director of the Bermuda Weather Service, said yesterday: “The area to our south that the National Hurricane Centre and Bermuda Weather Service are watching closely is, to some extent, associated with a more general broad-scale pattern, that is generating our current scattered-shower activity, with the increasing likelihood of thunderstorm development.

“This unsettled weather will continue into Wednesday, but there will be a steady improvement thereafter as high pressure takes a hold once again.”

The system’s formation came as Hurricane Dorian moved away from the Bahamas to the US East Coast. The Category 5 storm struck the Bahamas with 185mph winds on Monday.

The system had weakened to a Category 2 by yesterday, but its slow movement resulted in a sustained battering of parts of the Bahamas, including the Abaco Islands. At least five people have been killed in the storm, but Bahamian authorities said the death toll could be higher.

The British Broadcasting Company reported that Grand Bahama’s international airport was under six feet of water.

The storm is expected to turn north and begin to move up the US East Coast. Mr Dodgson said a high pressure system will help keep the hurricane away.

He said: “It is large scale upper level steering patterns that are determining Dorian’s track along the US East Coast and towards the Canadian maritimes.

“Bermuda is also increasingly protected by a large upper level developing high.

“Despite its distance from Bermuda, we are likely to see long period of westerly swells, emanating from Dorian later this week.”