Dorian is about to ramp up across the Charleston metro area as the storm’s more central rainfall begins coming ashore. Tropical storm-force winds are already being felt at Folly Beach, and will spread further inland with time. Your window to safely evacuate has closed. Time to shelter in place and ride this thing out.
Prepare for the potential for flash flooding, power outages, and perhaps a tornado. Make sure you can hear severe weather alerts and that they can wake you!
Dorian Day 1 has arrived in the Lowcountry. Clouds from the storm’s outflow have been blanketing the area for about 12-15 hours now, and the first rain bands are approaching shore. Here’s what to expect over the next couple days.
Advisory 42 for Hurricane Dorian continues to indicate a high-end Category 2 storm with max winds of 110 MPH. It has picked up some forward speed and is now moving NW at 6 MPH. A Hurricane Warning and Storm Surge Warning continue for Charleston, with Tropical Storm Warnings inland.
The most notable change in this update is that NHC has shifted the track and cone of uncertainty westward, making its closest pass to Charleston Thursday afternoon. This shift westward is going to increase the potential for hurricane-force winds along the coast (and perhaps slightly inland), add to the storm surge threat, and increase the potential for heavy, flooding rainfall. Be preparing for high-end category 2 hurricane conditions!
Preparations should wrap up this evening. Rain bands will likely begin overnight with tropical storm-force gusts. More sustained tropical storm-force winds are possible as early as Wednesday at 8am, and should overspread the area by Wednesday evening.
This post will be updated with new impact graphics.
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Advisory 41 on Dorian is in, and it is now a category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale with maximum sustained winds of 110 MPH. The storm is now moving northwest at 2 MPH, and is expected to make a turn more to the north sometime tomorrow, paralleling the coastline.
Recapping active alerts:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Charleston and Berkeley Counties.
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Charleston and tidal Berkeley counties.
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dorchester County.
A Flash Flood Watch will be in effect from Wednesday morning to Friday morning.
At 8am, Dorian resumed forward motion for the first time in 18 hours — moving NW at 1. It remains a strong Category 3 hurricane with max winds of 120 MPH.
Now that the storm has started moving again, we should be able to finish forecast fine-tuning later today.
What to do today
Finish storm preparation today. We are still on track for adverse weather to move in Wednesday, with the bulk of tropical storm and possibly hurricane conditions starting Wednesday evening through much of Thursday. Bring in loose items, secure personal property, and give the disaster kit one last look. Give extra attention to things like batteries for flashlights; with the bulk of the worst conditions currently timed overnight Wednesday into Thursday, overnight power outages are likely.
Watch for flooding around the noon high tide. Moderate flooding may close roads downtown. Be ready to use alternate routes.
If evacuating, leave today. Weather heads downhill tomorrow and you just won’t want to drive through it. If you’re not leaving, just get ready to stay put for a couple days as Dorian brushes us.
The next track and intensity forecast update arrives at 11am. Confidence is increasing in the forecast track and subsequent impacts, and I expect a warning of some type to be hoisted with that advisory.
Hurricane Dorian continues to sit stationary just north of Grand Bahama Island, lashing the island with its eyewall (as it has for much of the day). As the storm has remained stationary, it has weakened somewhat, but remains a dangerous Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 MPH as of the 11 PM advisory.
At the 5PM advisory (which came out about 20 minutes early — thanks, NHC!), Dorian was found to have totally stalled out just north of Grand Bahama Island, which continues to take a lashing from this Category 4 storm. An eyewall replacement cycle has caused the storm to lose some intensity, but it’s not much consolation when the storm still packs maximum sustained winds of 145 MPH. The storm is now completely stationary after showing some signs of a northward jog earlier in the day. Until we can see a more substantial turn, uncertainty around the specifics of Dorian’s track and impacts on our area remains rather high.
Dorian is now a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 155 MPH. It continues a very slow westward motion — 1 MPH. There are no significant changes to the track. Keep doing what you’re doing to prepare. I do suspect that hurricane and storm surge watches will be issued later tonight. Stay tuned…
Hurricane Dorian continues to pose a significant threat to the South Carolina coastline this morning. We are awaiting the beginning of a turn to the north or northwest; this should happen at some point today, hopefully freeing the people of Grand Bahama from the eyewall of Dorian sooner rather than later. Where and when this turn happens is key to the forecast evolution down the road, so please keep in mind that there are elements that are still low-confidence.