The Sunshine State is close enough to feel some of Hurricane Dorian’s wind and rain bands, but the slow-moving storm is still causing extreme destruction in the Bahamas.
Hurricane Dorian is officially at a halt over the Bahamas. The Category 4 storm is causing catastrophic damage while staying put.
The National Hurricane Center’s 5pm Monday Advisory lists “present movement” as “stationary,” with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph, and higher gusts.
This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to watch 😢 My heart breaks for the lovely people of Bahamas 🙏🏾🙏🏾— Oskaer (@Osman__13) September 2, 2019
Whomever you pray to, please keep them in your prayers .. #PrayForTheBahamas #Abaco #HurricaneDorain pic.twitter.com/yOYuAUAUMs
At the same time Sunday, Dorian was “crawling” at 1 mph with winds of 185 mph.
Dorian’s location remains about 25 miles northeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, and about 105 miles east of West Palm Beach, FL.
— Shane Monaski 🏠 (@SmonaskiRealtor) September 2, 2019
Watches and warnings have been up for most of the Florida east coast since Sunday. Earlier Monday afternoon, a wind gust of 43 mph was reported at Opa-locka Airport near Miami. Also, sustained winds of 55 mph with a gust to 69 mph was reported at a NOAA Coastal Marine observing site at Settlement Point, on the west end of Grand Bahama Island.
NHC at 5pm: “Dorian remains an impressive hurricane in satellite imagery.”
People on Grand Bahama Island should not leave their shelter. The eye is still passing over it, and winds will rapidly increase on the other side. They are facing wind gusts to 180 mph and storm surge 12-18 feet above normal tide levels, with higher destructive waves. These hazards will continue through Monday night, causing extreme destruction.
JUST IN: The Defence Force has been dispatched to rescue people in East Grand Bahama if you know anyone who is trapped tell them call 351-9774 so they can get on the rescue list! #HurricaneDorian #HurricaneDorian2019 #mediacoverage #Bahamas #TheBahamas #stormcoverage pic.twitter.com/m5y8Qs3KYp— Shenique Miller (@sheniquemiller) September 2, 2019
In the Abacos, hit before Grand Bahama, people are being warned to continue to stay sheltered until conditions subside later Monday. Some people are saying the Bahamas may never be the same.
Gradual weakening is forecast, but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane over the next couple of days.
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.
Overnight into early Tuesday, Dorian is forecast to finally start moving again with the slow westward to west-northwestward motion it had been taking.
Then, a turn toward the northwest is forecast by late Tuesday, with a right turn, and northeastward motion, to begin by Wednesday night.
The track means “the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian will continue to pound Grand Bahama Island into Tuesday morning. The hurricane will then move dangerously close to the Florida east coast, late Tuesday through Wednesday evening, and then move dangerously close to the Georgia and South Carolina coasts on Wednesday night and Thursday.”
“Although the center of Dorian is forecast to move near, but parallel to, the Florida east coast, only a small deviation of the track toward the west would bring the core of the hurricane onshore.”
Remember to have all preparations completed well before this big, strong storm gets close since conditions will deteriorate far in advance.
“The hurricane is not a point, and … life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds extend far from the center. Regardless of the exact forecast track, strong winds and a life-threatening storm surge are likely along a portion of the U.S east coast from Florida through the Carolinas.”
Look below for graphics and links all the way north to Virginia.
These are the major watches and warnings in effect, and some places up the coast were added as of 5pm Monday:
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas
- Jupiter Inlet in northern Palm Beach County, up more than 250 miles to Ponte Vedra Beach in St. Johns County, FL
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- the Palm Beach/Martin County line to Jupiter Inlet
- north of Ponte Vedra Beach to South Santee River, SC
A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- the Palm Beach/Martin County line to Jupiter Inlet, just like the Hurricane Watch
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Broward County, FL
- Lake Okeechobee
A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
- Lantana, in Palm Beach County, way up to Altamaha Sound, GA
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:
- the Broward/Palm Beach County line to south of Lantana
- Altamaha Sound to South Santee River
There are links below for specific information by county.
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.
Right now, devastating hurricane conditions continue on Grand Bahama Island. Do not venture out into the eye, since winds will suddenly increase after it passes.
Hurricane conditions are expected within the Hurricane Warning area in Florida by Tuesday. Hurricane conditions are possible in the Hurricane Watch area beginning Wednesday.
Tropical storm conditions are expected within the Tropical Storm Warning area through Tuesday, and are possible in the Tropical Storm Watch area by Monday night.
Those are the National Hurricane Center’s best possible answers to these old questions:
- Will it hit Florida?
- If so, then where?
- If not, then how close will it get?
- And where would be the closest place to Dorian?
Isolated tornadoes are possible through Tuesday along the eastern coast of Florida.
Although some additional slow weakening is forecast while the hurricane moves northward along the U.S. coastline due to increasing wind shear, Dorian is forecast to remain a powerful hurricane during that time.
In the Bahamas, a life-threatening storm surge is raising water levels by 12 to 18 feet above normal tide levels where the wind comes in on Grand Bahama Island. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. Water levels should very slowly subside on the Abaco Islands during the day.
In the U.S., the combination of a dangerous storm surge and tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by waters moving in from the shore. The water could reach 4-7 feet above ground from Lantana to South Santee River if the peak surge happens during high tide. The possible height from the Broward/Palm Beach County line to Lantana is 2 to 4 feet above ground.
Water levels should begin to rise well before strong winds arrive. The surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. The amount of surge-related flooding, as opposed to rainfall, depends on the how close the center of Dorian gets, and that can vary greatly over short distances. See the links below for specific information for your area.
Large swells are affecting east-facing shores of the Bahamas and the Florida east coast. They will spread northward over the next few days and are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. See your local link for specific information.
The latest rain totals expected from Dorian through late this week:
- northwestern Bahamas: an additional 6 to 12 inches, isolated storm totals of 30 inches
- central Bahamas: an additional 1 to 3 inches, isolated storm totals of 6 inches
- coastal Carolinas: 5 to 10 inches, isolated areas could get 15 inches
- from Florida’s east coast through Georgia: 4 to 8 inches, isolated areas could get 10 inches
The rain may cause life-threatening flash floods.
Click below for emergency management websites for Florida’s east coast counties, from south to north:
- Palm Beach
- St. Lucie
- Indian River
- St. Johns
Click below for state emergency management websites, followed by links to their Twitter feeds.
- Florida Emergency Management; @FlSert
- Georgia Emergency Management; @GeorgiaEMA
- South Carolina Emergency Management; @SCEMD
- North Carolina Emergency Management; @NCEmergency
- Virginia Emergency Management; @VDEM
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.
- At 5pm Monday, there was special local information coming from National Weather Service offices in Miami, Melbourne, Jacksonville, and the Tampa Bay area.
Check your hurricane plan and emergency supplies kit.
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.
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.
Continuing Coverage: Hurricane Dorian
- Hurricane Dorian off the Carolinas, Tropical Storm Warnings in New England Thurs., Sept. 5, 2019
- Hurricane Dorian off Georgia, Tropical Storm Watch extended to Delaware Wed., Sept. 4, 2019
- More watches, warnings for Florida and up the coast for Hurricane Dorian Tues., Sept. 3, 2019
- Hurricane Dorian to get ‘dangerously close’ to Florida, then other states Mon., Sept. 2, 2019
- Hurricane Dorian’s strength, size means ‘hit or miss’ matters little for Florida Sun, Sept. 1, 2019
- Center of Hurricane Dorian more likely to turn before hitting Florida Sat., Aug. 31, 2019
- Hurricane Warning for part of Bahamas as ‘extremely dangerous’ Dorian heads toward Florida Fri., Aug. 30, 2019
- Hurricane Dorian to intensify, be ‘extremely dangerous’ in Florida Thurs., Aug. 29, 2019
- Hurricane Dorian expected to intensify, threaten Florida as a Category 3 Wed., Aug. 28, 2019
- The latest: Tropical Storm Dorian Tues., Aug. 27, 2019
The latest on Hurricane Dorian:
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
- 4 hurricanes in 6 weeks? It happened to one state in 2004. (Hint: I was there, reporting on them all, and also the following year, when the National Hurricane Center ran out of letters for storm names, and used six from the Greek alphabet.)
- Wikipedia: 2004 Atlantic hurricane season
- Wikipedia: 2005 Atlantic hurricane season