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How The Bahamas is Safeguarding Against Rising Climate Threats

    The Snapshot: 

    • The Bahamas faces rising threats from intensifying hurricanes, flooding, and sea level rise that endanger residents
    • The Bahamas Aviation, Climate, and Severe Weather Network (BACSWN) sought advanced early warning systems to reach vulnerable communities overlooked by limited national forecasts
    • Tomorrow.io’s hyperlocal warnings, real-time tracking, and actionable data analytics aligned with BACSWN’s goals
    • AI-powered alerts provide communities with life-saving lead time to prepare for specific local threats from approaching storms
    • Equal access and localized weather intelligence aim to build national resilience amidst growing climate risks
    • Public-private coordination allows BACSWN to implement tomorrow.io’s innovative technology, unavailable through government alone

    Island nations like the Bahamas face an existential threat from climate change. Rising seas and devastating storms overwhelm infrastructure never built to withstand such extremes. 

    At ClimaCon4, Tomorrow.io’s annual weather intelligence and climate adaptation conference, we sat down with Bahamas Aviation, Climate, and Severe Weather Network (BACSWN) CEO Lyrone Burrows to discuss how island nations are implementing next-generation early warning systems and climate adaptation strategies to protect communities.

    “The Bahamas is an extremely low lying location, and as global warming continues or if it was to continue There is the significant likelihood that we will not be around, in the next several decades. 

    But we’re very confident that with the actions that we’re taking, as well as our global partners. The thrust for improving the conditions of climate globally that we’ll be around in the next twenty, thirty years,” says Lyrone 

    Check out the session’s highlights below to learn more about how Tomorrow.io supports island nations to become resilient in the face of weather. 

    The Origins of BACSWN

    The Bahamas Aviation, Climate, and Severe Weather Network (BACSWN) is a media company positioned to improve how weather is seen within the Bahamas. 

    As BACSWN President and CEO Lyrone Burrows shares, “The vision for BACSWN extends back about seven years and stems out of certain weather conditions that were present that significantly impacted our founder.”

    “The Bahamas is a significantly large archipelago of islands,” Burrows explains, “And, as part of that, our goal is to ensure that persons get information relative to weather conditions on a timely basis to ensure that their safety is preserved.” 

    Before Tomorrow.io: Combating Hurricanes, Storm Surge, and Rising Seas

    Historically, hurricanes and storm surges have battered the Bahamas. In recent years, the islands have dealt with another climate change-fueled threat: rising sea levels.

    “As these hurricanes have come through… the severity of [the storms] have been constantly increasing,” Burrows shares. 

    These climate impacts have significantly affected the country’s economy and infrastructure over the past 10-15 years. 

    After getting hit by multiple major hurricanes in a short period, Burrows tells us, “In many instances, we’ve had to almost start from scratch from some of for some of our islands, significant capital, infrastructure both, from the government perspective as well as from the private side, uproot of, persons, having to move from one island to the next.”

    With Tomorrow.io: Improving Early Warning Systems Technology

    Given this constant battering from intensifying storms, BACSWN is working to overhaul weather early warning systems in the Bahamas.

    As Burrows explains, “One of the challenges we face in the Bahamas is, historically, as these storms have approached, the warnings that have gone out have been through either television or radio…what we intend to do with BCSWN is to provide a more real-time, hyper-local  information to, those residents that will be impacted.”

    To make this vision a reality, BACSWN has partnered with Tomorrow.io to improve early warning systems, turning to the private sector rather than relying solely on government funding. 

    Burrows sees public-private partnerships as essential for bringing new technology to the islands:

    “There’s a pursuit for what we call, public-private relationships…. The private sector is encouraged to bring forth the capital resources, the funding, the innovation, and, to work along with the government to ensure that at the end of the day, what we bring is something that will improve the lives of the Bohemian populace.”

    Empowering All Communities

    A key goal of BACSWN is ensuring its climate adaptation solutions empower marginalized communities. 

    Rather than just general weather information at the national level, BACSWN aims to provide hyperlocal forecasts so every community can access life-saving data. As Burrows emphasizes:

    “With the implementation of new technologies as well as our strategic partnerships, the intent is to provide specific weather expectations, at ground-level for each and every location and major location within the Bahamas… So each person or each community is able to obtain the information that identifies what those weather conditions will be that will affect them specifically.”

    To ensure equal access to all Bahamian people, BACSWN plans to partner with local media outlets, government emergency agencies, and telecom providers.

    Trust In Moving Forward with Tomorrow.io

    When asked about his hopes for the Bahamas in the face of climate threat, Burrows did not mince words: “We’re hoping for our survival.” As a low-lying island nation, the country faces an existential threat from rising sea levels if global warming continues unchecked.

    But Burrows remains optimistic that by working with partners like Tomorrow.io, the Bahamas can implement the technology needed to adapt and warn residents about intensifying hurricanes and storms. 

    What gave BACSWN confidence that Tomorrow.io was the right weather partner? 

    For Burrows, it came down to Tomorrow.io’s adaptable platform, breadth of weather data, and leadership mindset. As he explains:

    “One of the important things was getting to work with the leadership of Tomorrow.io, and realizing there was a shared ideolog…. to thrust up the importance of [weather] and how it affects daily lives.”

    By partnering with Tomorrow.io, BACSWN aims to bring next-generation weather technology to the islands to provide life-saving early warnings and real-time weather data. In making weather a more important factor in daily life, Burrows hopes residents will proactively protect themselves.

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