Hurricane Dorian Headed for Southeast U.S

PQMD Members Monitoring Storm and Determining Response Efforts

According to The Weather Channel, Hurricane Dorian is forecast to intensify into a Category 4 hurricane and pose a major danger to the southeastern U.S., especially Florida, over Labor Day weekend.

This satellite image from CNN shows Hurricane Dorian near Puerto Rico on Thursday, August 29, 2019.

Dorian’s center is about 220 miles north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.

No hurricane watches or warnings in effect at this time, but they will likely be issued for parts of the Bahamas and Florida in the next day or two.

Below is the latest on Dorian’s timing and what we know about potential forecast impacts right now.

Dorian’s Forecast Timing

Through Friday: Dorian’s center is expected to track to the east and north of the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas.

Saturday: Dorian will bend toward the west-northwest and potentially begin to impact the northwest Bahamas, particularly by late in the day.

Sunday-Monday: Dorian will slow down as it approaches and begins to impact the Southeast U.S., mostly likely somewhere between Florida and southeast Georgia. That said, areas as far north as the Carolinas should also monitor for potential impacts from Dorian early next week.

Uncertainty continues to be high when it comes to exact forecast impacts in the southeastern U.S. and the northwest Bahamas.High pressure aloft is expected to be the steering wheel for Dorian late in the week.

Among the myriad track possibilities are a track farther north toward the southeastern Georgia coast and the Carolinas or one slicing across the Florida Peninsula, then emerging into the Gulf of Mexico and potentially threatening parts of the northern Gulf Coast next week.

The uncertainty in Dorian’s exact track is mainly related to an area of high pressure off the East Coast. If high pressure remains strong over the Southeast, then Dorian would track straight into Florida. But if the western periphery of the high is eroded by a subtle disturbance moving through the eastern states, then Dorian could turn more northward near or off the coast of Florida.

Regardless of its exact track, Dorian is likely to be a dangerous hurricane, potentially a Category 4, when it approaches the U.S. later this weekend.

Furthermore, it is increasingly likely Dorian will both intensify and grow in size as it moves toward the southeastern U.S.

It’s too early to know the exact magnitude and location of any impacts from damaging winds, storm surge or flooding rainfall at this time.

All interests in the Bahamas, the northern Gulf Coast, Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas should have their hurricane plans ready and monitor the forecast of Dorian closely.

Coastal sections of the Southeast could see at least 4 to 8 inches (locally 12 inches) of rain, according to the National Hurricane Center. Dorian’s slower movement as it nears the coast could cause major flooding.

Damaging winds and life-threatening storm surge flooding will likely impact the east coast of Florida or some other part of the Southeast late this weekend into early next week, but it’s too early to nail down where the worst impacts will be.

If you live in an area prone to storm surge, be sure to follow the advice of local officials if evacuations are ordered.

PQMD members are monitoring the storm and determining response efforts. AmeriCares, Heart to Heart International, Project C.U.R.E., Direct Relief, IsraAID, International Medical Corps, Project HOPE and others are planning response and working with partners in the area. PQMD members are encouraged to share details of their response on the PQMD Community of Practice.

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