Hurricane Dorian 8/30/19 Update

Friday, August 30, 2019 - 12:12pm

As I mentioned in my afternoon social media post about this storm yesterday the track has been adjusted showing a northward turn after making landfall in Florida. The question remains where is Dorian going to go, if and when could we see impacts here in Rowan County. Let's take a look at the latest on the storm. Aircraft form the United States Air Force and NOAA have been sending data from Dorian this morning. The National Hurricane Center forecast calls for additional strengthening of Dorian and the storm is expected to become an extremely dangerous major hurricane soon with additional strengthening likely as the storm heads for the northwest Bahamas and the Florida peninsula.

The latest data indicates that Dorian is moving toward the northwest as an upper level low over Cuba is moving westward. A strong ridge of high pressure is building over the Atlantic as indicated by the latest model data. The hurricane should be forced to turn west-northwestward and then pivot more westerly on a track toward the northwestern Bahamas and the Florida peninsula over the next five days. The ridge of high pressure over the northern Atlantic is likely to weaken and this will cause Dorian to slow down and possibly even stall near the Florida peninsula. This of course increases uncertainty in the forecast track as we move into the beginning of next week. Unfortunately this will also lead to prolonged durations of wind, storm surge and rainfall. 

Key Messages

1. Life threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane force winds are likely in portions of the northwestern Bahamas, where a Hurricane Watch is in effect. Residents should execute their hurricane plan and listen to the advice given by local emergency officials.

2. Life threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane force winds are likely along portions of the Florida east coast by early next week. Please note it is still to soon to determine where the highest storm surge and winds will occur. Residents should have their hurricane plan in place, know if they are in a Hurricane Evacuation Zone, and listen to the advice given by local emergency officials.

3. A prolonged period of storm surge, high winds and rainfall is likely in portions of Florida into next week including the possibility of hurricane force winds over inland portions of the Florida peninsula. 

4.  Heavy rains are expected over portions of the Bahamas, Florida, and elsewhere in the southeastern United States this weekend into the middle of next week. 

The model data above indicates that a strong ridge of pressure will cause Dorian to slow down and possibly even stall near the Florida peninsula over the weekend. The ridge of High pressure looks like it will hold the storm for several days before finally weakening allowing the storm to turn northward after making landfall on the east coast of Florida. 

 

Dorian is likely to make landfall as a major hurricane during the overnight and early morning hours of Tuesday. The storm will begin to turn northward after making landfall as I will show in the next image below.

 

Late Tuesday evening Dorian will begin to make a northward turn and begin to weaken considerably as the center of the storm will be over land. 

 

Dorian will meander along the east coast of the United States throughout the week and eventually move into eastern North Carolina by next weekend. 

 

By next Saturday afternoon Dorian will move off the east coast of North Carolina and head back out to sea. So what does this mean for Rowan County? By the middle of next week we could feel impacts form Dorian in terms of gusty winds and some rainfall associated with the storm. As of now most of the impacts will remain to our south and east. 

 

There is still plenty of time for things to change with the track of Dorian and they likely will. I will continue to keep you updated right here and on social media as we head through the Labor Day weekend. As always thank you for following Rowan County Weather!

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