Hurricane Dorian was slamming Grand Bahama Island this morning with sustained winds of 165 mph. The gusts were up to 200 mph, and the storm surge was about 20-23ft.
This as the eye of the storm slowly moved over the island.
The Category 4 hurricane will slowly trudge west today. Then tomorrow, it should start to move more to the north. The latest forecast has it moving off the coast of Florida, but it may get very close. Between Wednesday and Thursday, it is expected to pick up some speed and move to the northeast.
The most likely path (red center line) sends Dorian towards Hatteras as a lesser hurricane late Thursday into early Friday morning. Then it pushes the storm out to sea. However, the cone of uncertainty (white area) is still large at that point.
There is a good amount of confidence in the short term forecast, but the uncertainty increases from early Thursday onward. Here are some of the computer models through that time:
Notice that a good amount of the models send the storm over Hatteras. There are also quite a few that take it a little farther out to sea. In fact, the bulk of the ensemble models are farther offshore, but not too far offshore.
For once…the GFS and the European models are in good agreement in the mid-term forecast. (Maybe that GFS upgrade is working afterall). Here is what they both show into early Friday morning:
Notice that the center is near Hatteras on both models, but the storm seems to expand a little by that point. So that would allow strong tropical storm force winds to move into Hampton Roads. If this tracks more offshore, then the winds may not be too bad in Hampton Roads.
There will definitely be some strong winds over the Outer Banks. Even with a track farther south/southeast of Hatteras. Based off of the current track there could (possibly) be major tidal flooding over the Outer Banks with moderate tidal flooding in Hampton Roads. However, it’s still too early to determine the specific levels. Especially with a southwest to northeast track.
Rain is a bit tricky. There are some indications that Dorian will interact with a stationary front that will sit over Hampton Roads. This could enhance the rainfall north and northwest of the storm. Keep that in mind as I show you the latest rainfall forecast from the European model.
So the band of heavier rain (4-6″) could be more north than shown.
Having said all that. Keep in mind that the forecast has changed drastically over the last few days. So it could changed quite a bit again. I would have your plan ready for possible evacuations if you live over the southern Outer Banks. While many residents survived Hurricane Arthur in 2014 without too many problems, Dorian could be a larger storm The storm surge could potentially be more of a problem. We’ll see.
In the meantime, we have fairly quiet weather in our region today. High pressure is to the northeast. There is a weak warm front over the region.
We’ll have some isolated showers today with a mix of sun and clouds. Overall, it will be a decent day. Highs will be in the 80s, and it will be humid. Then we’ll have partly cloudy skies tomorrow in the morning. So the weather looks pretty good for the kids heading back to school. By the afternoon we may see some isolated showers. Highs will be in the 80s.
We’ll still be quiet on Wednesday with some isolated showers. However, the chance for rain will increase late Thursday into Friday based off of what Dorian does.
We’ll have lots of updates on it over the next few days.
Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler