Hurricane Dorian off Georgia, Tropical Storm Watch extended to Delaware

Dorian is one of three storms, as of 5pm Wednesday. The National Hurricane Center reports Tropical Storm Fernand made landfall in northern Mexico around midday, and has already been downgraded to a tropical depression. And Tropical Depression #8 became Tropical Storm Gabrielle.

Hurricane Dorian is now centered off the Georgia coast and has strengthened a little.

Its sustained winds are 110 mph, making the storm the strongest possible Category 2 hurricane.

Dorian is moving north-northwest at 8 mph. That’s toward the South Carolina coast. However, look for a turn to the north, Wednesday night.

That’ll be followed by a turn to the north-northeast on Thursday and a turn toward the northeast on Thursday night. That’ll continue Friday, and the storm should speed up.

The forecast track has the center of Dorian approaching the South Carolina coast Wednesday night, move near or over the South Carolina coast on Thursday, and move near or over the North Carolina coast, Thursday night and Friday. Click here for Philadelphia area information.

Remember not to focus on the exact track since typical forecast errors at day 4 are about 155 miles, and at day 5, about 205 miles.

from the National Hurricane Center

Some fluctuations in strength are possible, Wednesday night. That’ll be followed by slow weakening, Thursday through Friday.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

A NOAA buoy near the Georgia coast recently reported sustained winds of 54 mph, and a gust of 60 mph.

After 5pm Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center reported a Weatherflow site at Folly Beach Pier, just south of Charleston, SC, measured sustained winds of 45 mph and a gust to 56 mph.

These are the major watches and warnings in effect, as of 5pm Wednesday. There are no more for Florida, except the northern part of the state.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina
  • Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, in North Carolina

Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • north of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, to the Georgia/South Carolina line

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • the Flagler/Volusia County line, FL, to the Georgia/South Carolina line
  • Virginia’s border with North Carolina, up to Chincoteague
  • Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point, Va, and south

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • north of Chincoteague, VA, to Fenwick Island, DE
  • Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point, VA, up to Drum Point, MD
  • Potomac Rover, south of Cobb Island, MD

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • the Flagler/Volusia County line, FL, to Poquoson VA
  • Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, in North Carolina
  • Neuse and Pamlico Rivers, in North Carolina
  • Hampton Roads, VA

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:

  • no place as of 5pm Wednesday

Interests elsewhere along the Mid-Atlantic coast should continue to monitor Dorian, since additional watches or warnings may be required later Wednesday.

Plus, interests in southeastern New England should also monitor the progress of the hurricane.

See below for links to storm information specific to your area, by state.

A Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are possible within the area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm-force winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical storm conditions are expected within the area within 36 hours.

A Tropical Storm Watch means tropical storm conditions are possible within the area, generally within 48 hours.

A Storm Surge Warning means a danger of life-threatening inundation from rising water moving inland from the coastline during the next 36 hours. People in these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the locations during the next 48 hours.

Again, focus on the entire cone, rather than just the line running through the middle, because it considers the experts’ and computer models’ growing margin of error for the center of the storm.

from the National Hurricane Center

As of 5pm Wednesday, tropical storm conditions are affecting portions of the Georgia and southern South Carolina coasts, and should begin along other portions of the South Carolina coast during the next several hours.

Tropical storm conditions will begin elsewhere within the Hurricane

Warning area in the Carolinas later Wednesday, with hurricane conditions beginning by late Wednesday night or Thursday.

Tropical storm conditions are expected in the warning area by Friday, with tropical storm conditions possible in the watch area, Friday or Friday night.

Tropical storm conditions along the northeastern Florida coast should subside Wednesday night.


Philadelphia area information

For Delaware beaches and the Jersey shore, on Friday, the eye of Hurricane Dorian is forecast to pass by well offshore. Gusty onshore winds are anticipated late Thursday and especially Friday, and some coastal flooding is possible.

Around the Philadelphia region, some thunderstorms Wednesday evening could produce locally strong to damaging winds. The storms are part of the cold front that’ll keep Dorian off the coast. From Thursday through next Tuesday, the probability for widespread hazardous weather is low.

The storms should be offshore by about 10pm. Then, drier and cooler air will arrive behind the front.

Thursday morning, thicker, lower clouds in advance of Dorian will be arriving across Delmarva, and make it to New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania by afternoon. There will be slowly increasing winds, and a couple of showers may arrive across Delmarva and southern New Jersey and Delmarva later in the day. High temperatures will only reach the low to mid 70s.

The bottom of ThePhillyFiles weather page has the Twitter feed for the region’s National Weather Service office.

from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach these heights above ground somewhere if the peak surge occurs during high tide:

  • Isle of Palms to Myrtle Beach, SC: 5 to 8 feet
  • the Georgia/South Carolina line to Isle of Palms, SC: 4 to 7 feet
  • Myrtle Beach, SC, to Cape Lookout, NC: 4 to 7 feet
  • Cape Lookout to Duck, NC, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds and the Neuse and Pamlico rivers: 4 to 6 feet
  • the Flagler/Volusia County line, FL, to the Georgia/South Carolina line: 3 to 5 feet
  • Duck, NC, to Poquoson, VA, including Hampton Roads: 2 to 4 feet

Water levels could begin to rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Surge-related flooding depends on Dorian’s strength and how close the center comes to the coast, and it can vary greatly over short distances. Look below for links to information specific for your area.

from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center

Rain from Dorian is expected to totals these amounts through Friday:

  • Carolina coasts: 6 to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches.
  • far southeast Virginia: 3 to 6 inches.
  • Daytona Beach, FL, to the Georgia/South Carolina line: 2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches.

This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods.

Large swells will affect the northwestern Bahamas and the entire U.S. coast from Florida through North Carolina, over the next several days.  These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Look below for links to information specific for your area.

A tornado or two are possible along the immediate coast of Georgia, Wednesday into early evening. Isolated tornadoes are possible across the coastal Carolinas from Wednesday evening through Thursday.


Click below for emergency management websites for some of Florida’s east coast counties, from south to north:

Click here to find all Florida counties, including those not listed.


Click below for state emergency management websites, followed by links to their Twitter feeds.


Advisories, Watches and Warnings by state:

(The National Weather Service page shows all alerts in effect for the state, and it’s updated every few minutes. I suggest starting by looking for a “Hurricane Local Statement” for your county.)


Maps of advisories, watches and warnings from the National Weather Service. Click each for local conditions, forecasts and other information — plus radar and satellite loops, and details on the color codes below.

Map of Forecast Area
Map of Forecast Area
Map of Forecast Area
Map of Forecast Area
Map of Forecast Area
Map of Forecast Area
Map of Forecast Area

Charity Navigator set up a Hurricane Dorian page, showing more than a dozen highly-rated organizations providing aid and relief.

Click here for information on going to volunteer in the Bahamas.

Click here for the latest from the Bahamian government.

Check your hurricane plan and emergency supplies kit.

You can now find a map like this for the Philadelphia region on ThePhillyFiles.com’s Weather Forecast for the Week page.

The latest on Hurricane Dorian:

from the National Hurricane Center
from the National Hurricane Center
from the National Hurricane Center
from the National Hurricane Center
from the National Hurricane Center

Continuing Coverage: Hurricane Dorian


Fernand was downgraded to a tropical depression. It made landfall in northern Mexico around midday Wednesday and is producing heavy rains, but the surface center is already showing signs of becoming poorly defined.

cone graphic
from the National Hurricane Center

Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 35 mph. Over land, expect a steady decrease in winds, and Fernand will likely dissipate Wednesday night or early Thursday.

[Image of probabilities of 34-kt winds]
from the National Hurricane Center

The depression is moving toward the west-northwest near 9 mph. This general motion is forecast to continue through Wednesday night.

Still, Fernand continues to pose a significant rain threat to northeast Mexico. Life-threatening flash floods and mudslides will be possible through Thursday, even after the storm dissipates.

The Mexican government has discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning from Puerto Altamira to the U.S. border.

A tornado or two are possible across far South Texas through Wednesday evening, and South Texas and the Lower Texas Coast should expect an additional 1-3 inches of rain, making storm totals in isolated areas 6 inches.

[Image of WPC QPF U.S. rainfall potential]
from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center

You may remember Tropical Storm Erin got the ‘E’ name briefly, last week.


Tropical Depression #8 became Tropical Storm Gabrielle. It’s far away, over the eastern Atlantic.

Gabrielle has sustained winds near 50 mph, and Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles. Little change in strength is forecast during the next 48 hours, but some strengthening is possible over the weekend.

cone graphic
from the National Hurricane Center

Gabrielle is moving toward the northwest near 9 mph. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

[Image of probabilities of 34-kt winds]
from the National Hurricane Center

This page should update on its own, like ThePhillyFiles weather page, so keep returning to see changes. The National Hurricane Center often begins advisories with a list of what has changed since the previous one.

Full advisories come every six hours (5am, 11am, 5pm and 11pm using Eastern Daylight Time) and intermediate advisories come every three hours in between (8am, 2pm, 8pm, 2am). There are now more advisories coming as Dorian threatens landfall in the U.S., so keep returning for graphic updates.

Monitor the progress of Dorian and make sure to have your hurricane plan in place. That means keeping a week’s worth of the basic items you’d need on hand throughout every hurricane season (June 1 through Nov. 30).

Keep scrolling down for tweets and now podcasts from the National Hurricane Center, plus more graphics.


Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

The scale estimates potential property damage based on a hurricane’s sustained wind speed. Hurricanes reaching Category 3 and higher are only “considered major hurricanes because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage. Category 1 and 2 storms are still dangerous, however, and require preventative measures.”

CATEGORY 1 HURRICANE: Maximum sustained winds of 74-95 mph. Very dangerous winds will produce some damage. Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

CATEGORY 2 HURRICANE: Maximum sustained winds of 96-110 mph. Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage. Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

CATEGORY 3 HURRICANE: Marks a “major” hurricane. Maximum sustained winds of 111-129 mph. Devastating damage will occur. Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

CATEGORY 4 HURRICANE: Maximum sustained winds of 130-156 mph. Catastrophic damage will occur. Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE: The worst level possible. Maximum sustained winds of 157+ mph. Catastrophic damage will occur. A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.


The National Hurricane Center is now providing audio briefings (podcasts) when the media pool is activated by the NHC Public Affairs Officer. That usually happens when a Hurricane Watch is initiated for part of the U.S. coastline. The audio briefings will provide the latest information regarding the hurricane threat and its expected impacts.


VIDEO: How to use the Cone of Uncertainty
National Hurricane Center (NHC) Hurricane Specialists John Cangialosi and Robbie Berg explain how the cone of uncertainty is created, what its limitations are, and what it can be used for.

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