11am, Hurricane Dorian is now currently just one mph shy of attaining major
hurricane strength and will continue to strengthen throughout today and this
weekend. Previously, an upper-level low pressure system has produced some shear
on Dorian’s west side, but as shown by the water vapor imagery loop, the upper-level
low is making its way westward. It’ll continue westward and pass between Cuba
and the Florida Keys, while Dorian takes advantage of high sea surface
temperatures and lower shear off the Southeast U.S. coast. Although there may
be later opportunities for Dorian to encounter shear, there won’t be much of an
issue for the storm in the foreseeable future.
European and GFS operational guidance insists on a Florida landfall. The GFS is
a bit farther west than the European model, but both models agree that there
will be an eventual turn northward that’ll take the storm through Florida, Georgia,
and the Carolinas. We will have to continue to monitor the strength of the Bermuda
ridge, which still could allow for a turn northward more quickly. However, we
often struggle when attempting to nail down when a tropical system will turn.
It can remain a challenge until the turn actually occurs; thus, we have no choice
but to warn those who could suffer major impacts.
forecast loop from the European model has Dorian making landfall in Florida and
then proceeding to ride up along the Southeast coast, which is a completely viable
solution. When we look at the European ensembles, we can see that some of its
members take Dorian northward before hitting Florida and then have it impacting
the Carolinas, which is another viable solution. So again, we’re currently
faced with two potential scenarios, both of which could produce devastating
impacts for certain regions. Luckily, we’re able to narrow down the region that
will face potential impacts, but specifics are still iffy, as always.
mentioned in several updates, please take into account the flooding risk with
Dorian. The Weather Prediction Center has produced a 7-day rainfall forecast
for this storm. Depending on track, rainfall totals could be higher, even into
the Carolina. Around 1-2 feet of rainfall would not be out of the question,
since Dorian should slow and could ride inland along the Southeast coast.
National Hurricane Center has maximum sustained winds reaching 140 mph with
higher gusts. This seems perfectly realistic, given favorable environmental
conditions. Their current track has Dorian hitting south-central Florida as a
major hurricane and then turning northward. Although you should expect changes
to this forecast in the coming days, you should plan as if this forecast will
come to fruition.
continue to monitor this situation closely and will provide you with new
updates as the forecast changes.
Matthew Holliday (Curriculum Vitae - Resume) is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, where he completed a B.S. in Meteorology and a B.S. in Geographic Information Science. He completed his master's degree in meteorology and climatology at Mississippi State University and is currently pursing a Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.