The second hurricane of the 2019 season is poised to become the first major system of the year … and a direct hit on the east coast of the United States appears imminent.
When will Hurricane Dorian arrive, though? Where will it make landfall? And how strong will the storm be when it hits?
If there is one thing we have learned during our many years of covering hurricanes, the answers to these critical questions will continue to evolve … right up until the moment the storm hits.
Seriously … fish hook, anyone?
Forecast tracks have become much more reliable than they used to be, certainly, these storms have minds of their own … as South Carolina governor Henry McMaster so eloquently put it a few years ago.
So with that in our minds, let us consider the latest data on Dorian …
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, the storm was located 220 miles north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico as of 11:00 a.m. AST Thursday. Packing 85 mile per hour winds, Dorian was moving northwest at 13 miles per hour with a minimum central pressure of 986 millibars.
“A west-northwestward motion is forecast to begin by Friday night and continue into the weekend,” forecasters predicted. “On this track, Dorian should move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern and central Bahamas today and on Friday, approach the northwestern Bahamas Saturday, and move near or over portions of the northwest Bahamas on Sunday.”
As it advances, Dorian will get stronger.
“Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, and remain an extremely dangerous hurricane through the weekend,” forecasters warned.
Here is a look at its current forecast window …
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And here is a look at its projected path …
(Click to view)
As you can see, the coast of Florida is very much in the mix for a direct hit … with a strong possibility that Dorian will be a category three storm upon making landfall.
While South Carolina appears to be out of harm’s way when it comes to this system – insofar as a direct hit, anyway – emergency responders are tracking the storm closely.
“We are monitoring the storm and sharing information,” Derrec Becker of the S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) told us. ” It’s too soon to say what effect, if any, Dorian will have on South Carolina. Right now it’s important for everyone to review their personal emergency plans, know their zone, grab a hurricane guide and get the S.C. emergency manager mobile app.”
Becker added that Thursday and Friday will be “crucial in terms of what the storm does and whether or not we need to make any safety recommendations.”
Stay tuned … we will continue to keep an eye on Dorian as it makes its way toward Florida.
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