Hurricane Dorian 8/31/19 Update

Saturday, August 31, 2019 - 11:35am

As we enjoy Labor Day weekend here in the Carolina's a major hurricane is moving across the Atlantic nearing the Florida peninsula. Dorian has been a big part of the conversation over the past few days. That conversation is becoming more dominant for the Carolina's with the shifts in the track over the past twenty four hours. I eluded to the possibility of the northward and then northeast shift this past Thursday. Let's take a look at the latest track of the storm as of 11am this morning.

Satellite imagery of Dorian this morning shows a very distinct eyewall of about 15 Nautical miles in diameter. The storm will pass over some very warm ocean water today increasing the likelihood of strengthening. There is also very limited shear for the storm to encounter. With the environment the storm is entering it is like providing high octane fuel for the storm. There will be periods of weakening along the way as the storm goes through eyewall replacement cycles.

There is some disagreement in the models on how soon the storm will make its turn to the north and then northeast. The European Model pictured below keeps the storm completely off shore along the east coast before pulling back out to see and away form the east coast off the North Carolina coastline late next week.

The GFS model pictured below has the storm coming very close to making landfall in Myrtle Beach late next week. This would of course increase the possibly of life threatening impacts along the Carolina coastlines as dangerous storm surge, damaging winds and heavy rains capable of producing flash flooding would be possible along coastal areas of North and South Carolina from the hurricane. 

The graphic below shows that we have a 10-20% chance of Tropical Storm Force Winds here in Rowan County by the middle to end of next week. That would likely be our biggest impact from Dorian if the track continues to shift east.

I am not forecasting much for Rowan County from Dorian at this point based on the current track and model data for the storm. Looking at around a half an inch to three quarters of an inch of rainfall being possible by the middle to end of next week.

I will continue to keep you updated right here and on social media with details related to Dorian. As always thank you for following Rowan County Weather!

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