A Portrait of Dorian

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UPDATE: Everything below is still current, but right now at about 10PM eastern Aug 31, Dorian is a Cat 5. Just figured you’d like to know

Original post:

Heed this most important message from the National Hurricane Center:

Key Messages:

  1. A prolonged period of life-threatening storm surge, devastating
    hurricane-force winds, and heavy rains capable of life-threatening
    flash floods are expected on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama
    Sunday through Monday, and a hurricane warning is in effect for
    these areas.

  2. A tropical storm watch is in effect for a portion of the Florida
    east coast. Since Dorian is forecast to slow down and turn northward
    as it approaches the coast, life-threatening storm surge and
    dangerous hurricane-force winds are still possible along portions of
    the Florida east coast by the early to middle part of next week.
    Residents should have their hurricane plan in place, know if they
    are in a hurricane evacuation zone, and listen to advice given by
    local emergency officials.

  3. There is an increasing risk of strong winds and dangerous storm
    surge along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North
    Carolina during the middle of next week. Residents in these areas
    should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian.

  4. Heavy rains, capable of life-threatening flash floods, are
    possible over coastal sections of the southeastern United States
    from Sunday through much of next week.

It now looks more and more likely that Dorian will make a dramatic right turn, far enough away from the Florida coast to menace but not totally destroy things there. But as the storm moves north, the track is less certain. There is no reliable estimate of the location where Dorian would make a real strike on land, but it may be late PM or evening Thursday or later, and it might be North Carolina.

Dorian is now a strong Category 4 storm, and may briefly hit Category 5 over the next day. It will not strike land as a Category 4 or 5 storm. Maybe a 2, maybe a 1.

This will be difficult for the reporters (sorry I keep harping on them, but it is necessary) to describe, because once a storm reaches a certain category, it is forever known as “A Category Five Storm” or whatever, even after it has changed to a lower level of intensity. So, “Category Five Dorian Strikes Jacksonville, North Carolina as a Weakened Category Two Storm” is a sentence you may well see, or something like it.

Meanwhile the Bahamas are in very serious trouble. There may not be a place in this world that is both so vulnerable to major hurricanes but at the same time, most ready for them. But a major, Category 4 or 5 hurricane, moving slowly, is about to rake the north part of that island chain.

Sunday afternoon, the bad part of a hurricane with 150 mile an hour winds will likely be affecting the atolls north of Little Abaco Island. It will take well more than 24 hours for the storm to clear the area and as it does so, it will actually speed up. For the sake of Bahamas, this speed up will hopefully happen faster.

Here is the currently projected track. Each of those dots is a 12 hour interval. The little “M” Means major (Category 3 or above).

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