Hurricane Dorian off the Carolinas, Tropical Storm Warnings in New England

The Tropical Storm Watch that went into Delaware has been upgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning, and Dorian should be done affecting land by the end of the weekend.

All watches and warnings for Hurricane Dorian have been discontinued in Florida and Georgia, as of Thursday evening (except rip current and small craft advisories), as the storm that devastated the Bahamas moves further to the north.

Now, it’s bringing high wind and heavy bands of rain to the Carolinas, and there’s a Tropical Storm Warning for part of New England.

But Dorian will be off the Delaware and New Jersey coasts — luckily far off the coasts — before that happens.

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

The National Hurricane Center reports Dorian’s maximum sustained winds dropped to 100 mph as of 8pm Thursday. That’s a Category 2 storm.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 miles.

At 5pm Thursday, hurricane conditions were going on along the South Carolina coast, northeast of Charleston. That was expected to continue for a few more hours, with tropical storm conditions affecting other portions of the South Carolina coast.

Thursday afternoon, a NOAA buoy southwest of the eye reported sustained winds of 60 mph and a wind gust of 74 mph.

After 5pm, a buoy at Frying Pan Shoals, NC, measured sustained winds of 54 mph and a gust to 78 mph.

Also, an observation from Myrtle Beach, SC, reported a sustained wind of 41 mph and a wind gust of 52 mph.

At 8pm Thursday, Dorian’s eyewall was “very near” Cape Fear, NC.

Dorian is moving to the northeast at 10 mph, and expected to go faster in that direction through Saturday.

By Friday, tropical storm conditions are expected in the Mid-Atlantic warning area of Virginia, Maryland and into Delaware.

Philadelphia area information

High pressure will build to the north on Thursday night and remain through Friday. That’ll increase winds from the northeast, especially closer to and along the coast. Sustained winds should increase

“up to about 10 to 15 mph, perhaps up to 20 mph along the coast, by daybreak with higher gusts,” according to the National Weather Service.

Also overnight, Hurricane Dorian will be making its way up the Carolina coast. Increasing and lowering cloud cover from Dorian is expected to continue pushing north, with a few isolated showers possible across southern Delaware and extreme southern New Jersey. Low temperatures will range from the 50s toward the north, to 60s along and south of I-95.

During the day, Friday, the center of Hurricane Dorian will accelerate to the northeast, thanks to a trough, passing by the region well offshore. The hurricane will transition to a post-tropical system as it gets north.

The main hazards remain focused along the coast and especially off the coast. Wind gusts of 30 to 50 mph are anticipated closer to the coast, with the highest winds along the coast and especially off the coast. Going inland, much less wind is expected.

Rain bands from Dorian “looks to brush the area with the heaviest remaining offshore.” Any inland rain should “shrink back toward the coast during the course of Friday.”

The trough that’ll make Dorian leave the area quickly could also cause “some bands of lighter rain or showers much farther inland.” Therefore, there will be chances of rain across the entire area, but the highest would be along the coast and eastward.

Temperatures will be much cooler due to onshore wind and lots of clouds.

  • Philadelphia should be cloudy with a high near 72. Northeast wind 8 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
  • In Sussex County, Delaware, rain will be likely. The sky will be cloudy with a high near 76. Expect windy conditions from the northeast at 17 to 22 mph, increasing to 24 to 29 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 41 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
  • In Atlantic City, by the airport, rain will be likely. The sky will be cloudy with a high near 73. Expect breezy conditions from the northeast at 15 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 38 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Friday night, “overall conditions will improve … given the anticipation of the storm quickly moving farther to our northeast.”

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


Friday night and Saturday morning, Dorian’s center should be to the southeast of New England.

Tropical storm conditions should be over portions of extreme southeastern Massachusetts by late Friday or early Saturday.

Then, later Saturday or Saturday night, Dorian should approach Nova Scotia as a hurricane-force post-tropical cyclone.

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
There are no watches in effect as of 8pm Thursday; just warnings of different sorts from the Carolinas into Delaware, and also Massachusetts.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • South Santee River, SC, to the North Carolina/Virginia line
  • Pamlico and Albemarle sounds in North Carolina

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • the North Carolina/Virginia line, to Fenwick Island, DE
  • Chesapeake Bay from Drum Point, MD, southward
  • the Potomac River south of Cobb Island, MD
  • Woods Hole to Sagamore Beach, MA
  • Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, MA

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • Cape Fear, NC, to Poquoson, VA
  • Pamlico and Albemarle sounds in North Carolina
  • Neuse and Pamlico rivers in North Carolina
  • Hampton Roads, VA

Interests on the U.S. Mid-Atlantic and New England coasts — and also Canada’s — should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian.

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

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

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:

  • Little River Inlet to Duck NC, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, and the Neuse and Pamlico rivers: 4 to 7 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 total these amounts through Friday:

  • coastal Carolinas: 6 to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches
  • far southeast Virginia: 3 to 8 inches
  • extreme southeastern New England: 2 to 4 inches

This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods.

The map shows the entire east coast is still affected by wind from Dorian. Details on each section are below.

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

Tornadoes are possible through early Friday across eastern North Carolina into southeast Virginia.

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
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

Continuing Coverage: Hurricane Dorian


At 5pm Thursday, Tropical Storm Gabrielle was struggling to maintain thunderstorms near its center, heading into in the middle of the Atlantic.

In fact, the National Hurricane Center said it’s “barely holding on to its status.” The NHC blames a lack of deep convection and very high wind shear, which should continue for the next 24 to 36 hours.

Gabrielle’s maximum sustained winds were 45 mph. That’s down from 50 mph at this time, Wednesday.

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.

Little change in strength will likely occur over the next day or two, but slow strengthening is still forecast to occur over the weekend.

Tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 205 miles from the center.

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

The storm was moving to the northwest at 10 mph, and expected to go faster for the next several days.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, and it doesn’t appear likely to make landfall.


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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