Hurricane Dorian - 11am Update 8.30 Ed Piotrowski

 

Ed Piotrowski of WPDE ABC 15 posted:

FRIDAY 11AM HURRICANE DORIAN UPDATE

INTENSITY - Dorian is slowly but surely strengthening and still expected to become a category 4 hurricane over the weekend. Rapid intensification (sustained winds increase 35 mph in 24 hours) is possible once Dorain closes off an eyewall. It's expected Dorian will maintain that strength as it approaches Florida late in the weekend.

TRACK - There have been no surprises overnight. A high-pressure ridge is growing stronger and expanding north of Dorian. There's no doubt Dorian will gradually turn west today and continue in that general direction through Monday. Late Monday and Tuesday, the ridge breaks down and steering currents collapse. Dorian's forward motion will slow drastically and it will turn north. Exactly where that happens is still not certain and may not be until late Saturday or even Sunday. Bottom-line, parts of Florida are likely to experience extreme impacts from wind, rain, and storm surge over a prolonged period of time regardless of landfall. The worst will be near and north of the where the center may cross the coastline. Right now, that's most likely between Miami and Melbourne.

Of course, you want to know what's possible here. I can confidently say that IF we were to have any impacts here, it wouldn't be until Thursday/Friday and long gone by the weekend It's still very uncertain just what those impacts will be and it will depend on the exact track of Dorian. The more time Dorian spends over land, the more it weakens and the lower our impacts are. Obviously, if it stays over water it won't weaken much and our impact would be higher. Right now, the long-range models indicate Dorian would spend quite a bit of time over land. Additionally, once Dorian slowly moves out of Florida, a trough of low pressure swinging in should accelerate it northeast. That means it would move in and out much more quickly than Florence. Right now, I do not see a situation where we get the amount of rainfall we received with Florence. Additionally, the models do not show a repeat of the tremendous wind we had with Hurricane Matthew. Of course, we're still 6 days away from this potentially impacting us so there's plenty of time to fine-tune the forecast.

The scenarios I posted last night are still valid today. I'll review the new model information as it comes in this afternoon and update these numbers accordingly.

SCENARIO #1 - Dorian would make landfall in Florida and stay over land as it moved northward. That would weaken it quickly so that by the time it came through here, we wouldn't have huge impacts. We would experience bands of heavy rain that could lead to some flooding and a tornado risk but minimal wind and storm surge impacts. Odds of this happening are 45%.

SCENARIO #2 - If high pressure remains strong, it would keep Dorian on a more westerly track for a longer amount of time before it turned north. It would track so far to the west of us that we'd have virtually no impacts here. Odds of this happening are 15%.

SCENARIO #3 - If Dorian turns before reaching the Florida coast, that would keep it over warm waters that would likely keep it a strong hurricane headed toward the Carolinas coast. Obviously, this would bring huge impacts including heavy, flooding rain, high wind, a tornado threat, and a significant storm surge. Thankfully the chances of this happening remain very low at 20%.

SCENARIO #4 - This is what everyone wants! If Dorain is really slow, the high pressure could break down substantially allowing Dorian to turn north then round the high and head northeast and out to sea. The odds of this happening are at 20%.

These numbers will be slow to change and will be based on trends in the models and their ensembles over the coming days. One piece of advice if you look at models online: They change every six hours and often swing one way or the other wildly. Don't get freaked out or let your guard down because of ONE model run.

You have nothing to worry about through the weekend. The only thing you need to do is keep an eye on it and have your hurricane plan together, just in case.

I'll have another update Friday by 7pm.

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