Dangerous Hurricane Dorian poses growing threat to Florida. Latest...
Hurricane Dorian is a growing threat for the East Coast of Florida. While there remains high uncertainty about it's exact track, timing and strength of this storm, it is becoming more organized with time and there appears little in it's projected path to stop it from becoming a Major Hurricane, or hurricane classified as a Cat 3 or higher.
The storm is currently located to the north of the Domincan Republic in the Western Atlantic with top sustained winds near 85 mph and a central pressure that has been dropping throughout the day, at around 986 mb. The storm is currently tracking off to the northwest at around 13 mph. An eventuall turn to wards the west is expected. over the next couple of days.
Ahead of Dorian lies seasonably very warm waters in the 84-87°F range (29-31°C) across the Western Atlantic and Northern Caribbean. This will be more than sufficient for futher strengthening in the days ahead.
Another major factor in hurricane development and maintenance are upper level winds. Generally speaking, the lighter the winds aloft the better for tropical systems.
The presence of an "upper high pressure system" as noted by the clock wise motion in the upper winds surrounding Dorian should provide adequate "ventilation" for the storm allowing it also to grow in organization and intensity with time.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm growing to Major Hurricane status on Friday while maintaining that strength as it moves towards the west perhaps into the Central Florida Peninsula early next week.
Notice the rather large "cone of uncertainty" at days 4 and 5, Monday and Tuesday. There's a good reason for that. It's still way too soon to focus on just one area of the Florida Coast.
Here's a look the the latest model spaghetti plot of all the forecast tracks including NHC in RED. (Meaning every colored line on this map represents a different models interpretation of the path Dorian will take. They range from near Miami to some even to the north of Jacksonville.
As far as intensity is concerned there remains a large range here as well with the synopic models such as the GFS and Euro limiting the strength of Dorian.
However, some of the preferred "tropical models" such as the high resolution HWRF model blow the storm up to Category 4 status before making landfall early Monday.
So what do I think?
I think potentially this is a very dangerous storm that could bring devastating winds, a life threatening storm surge and flooding rains. I also think it's too early to be talking about specifics as a WIDE RANGE of outcomes remains possible. Regardless, anyone with interests along the East Coast of Florida should monitor closely in the days ahead and be prepared to take action.
I'll have a complete update on the situation tonight on WxLIVEat945 and streaming updates as necessary on WxLiveNOW.
See you there!