Dorian at 5PM: Dangerous storm continues to lash the Bahamas

/ September 1, 2019 at 5:19 PM

At 5PM, Hurricane Dorian was over the Bahamas, packing incredible winds of 185 MPH (with gusts to 220 MPH). It continues an ever-slower westward motion of 5 mph. The storm is expected to nearly stall out on Monday as steering currents weaken, then it is forecast to make a turn to the north sometime late Monday or Tuesday.

The situation with respect to Charleston has not yet changed, and preparations for hurricane conditions on Wednesday and Thursday should be ongoing.

The latest NHC forecast

The latest track from the National Hurricane Center continues to indicate the center of Dorian making a very close pass on the Southeast coast, hugging the coastline through Friday. Some weakening is forecast — it won’t be a Category 5 forever, thankfully — but dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall, and gusty winds still appear likely for Wednesday and Thursday. The degree to which we see these hazards largely depends on the exact track of the storm. Frustratingly, this remains very uncertain. Every scenario between a landfall in Florida to the storm going out to sea remains on the table.

It does appear plausible that major coastal flooding, rip currents, and beach erosion will continue for the next several days. Storm surge may be a significant threat, with some initial projections of 3-6′ of inundation possible (based on the noon NWS briefing). Heavy rainfall, perhaps up to 10″, is a distinct possibility. Winds at least to tropical storm-force (39-73 mph) appear increasingly likely, with hurricane force winds (74+ mph) a possibility especially for coastal communities.

Again, all this is dependent on when and where that northerly turn starts. We just have to watch and wait for the turn. Until then, we only have model guidance to give us a general idea of where it might happen, but a few miles can make a huge difference.

Give proper respect to the uncertainty of the situation by being prepared for the potential for hurricane conditions on Wednesday and Thursday.

What to do tonight and tomorrow

There are some things you should do tonight and tomorrow to get prepared for Dorian as it gets closer to our neck of the woods. I wrote a lot of this for Florence, and I think it applies well for every tropical system.

Next update

The next full track and intensity forecast from the National Hurricane Center will come at 11 PM.

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