More watches, warnings for Florida and up the coast for Hurricane Dorian

At 5pm Tuesday, there were advisories of some type from the Bahamas all the way up to the Chesapeake Bay. Also, new Tropical Storm Fernand is threatening the Mexican coast, just south of Texas, and we see the new tropical depression that should get the letter G, perhaps Wednesday.

Hurricane Dorian is finally moving again as of 5pm Tuesday, and it “finally began a more definitive northwestward motion,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

At the same time Monday, it was stationary. Since then, little by little, the storm worked its way up to 6 mph toward the northwest and it’s supposed to pick up some speed by Wednesday evening.

By Thursday morning, Dorian also will have turned north-northwest, north and to the north-northeast.

The forecast track has the core of Hurricane Dorian moving

“dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast (Tuesday) night through Wednesday night. The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning.”

Maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph, which is the strongest Category 2, so it’s a powerful hurricane and expected to stay one over the next couple of days.

Dorian has also become a larger hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend out up to 60 miles from the center, and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles.

That’s an expansion of the tropical storm wind and the National Hurricane Center forecasts,

“It is likely that the area of hurricane-force winds will also increase somewhat during the next 24-36 hours.”

That would mean higher winds in the U.S.

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

These are the major watches and warnings in effect, and some places were added as of 5pm Tuesday:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:

  • Sebastian Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
  • from the Georgia/South Carolina line to Surf City, NC

Hurricane Watch is in effect for:

  • north of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, to the Georgia/South Carolina line
  • north of Surf City, NC, to the North Carolina/Virginia line
  • Albemarle and Pamlico sounds in North Carolina

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

  • Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas
  • north of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, to the Georgia/South Carolina line, like the Hurricane Watch
  • Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet, FL

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • the North Carolina/Virginia line to Chincoteague, VA
  • Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point, VA, and south

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

  • Jupiter Inlet, FL, to Surf City, NC

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:

  • north of Surf City to Duck, NC
  • Pamlico and Albemarle sounds in North Carolina
  • Neuse and Pamlico rivers in North Carolina

For Florida, the Hurricane Warning from Sebastian Inlet to Jupiter Inlet has been downgraded to a Tropical Storm Warning, and the Tropical Storm Warning has been discontinued south of Jupiter Inlet.

Look below for links 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.

“Interests elsewhere along the Mid-Atlantic coast … should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian, as additional watches or warnings may be required (Tuesday) night and Wednesday.”

Look below for Bahamas relief information.

Tuesday night, tropical storm conditions will continue on both Grand Bahama Island and along Florida’s Treasure Coast.

Late Tuesday night or early Wednesday, tropical Storm conditions are expected to begin in the warning area in north Florida and Georgia.

Also overnight, hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area in Florida.

Tropical Storm conditions are expected to begin within the warning area in the Carolinas on Wednesday, with hurricane conditions by Wednesday night.

For the Delaware and New Jersey beaches, the center of Hurricane Dorian is forecast to pass by well offshore on Friday. Dangerous surf and rip currents, along with strong winds, are anticipated for Thursday and Friday, and some coastal flooding and beach erosion is possible.

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 should be little overall change in intensity over the next couple of days. Then, expect a gradual decrease in the peak wind speed and an increase in storm size.

Saturday, an approaching mid-latitude trough and front will begin interacting with the hurricane, and Dorian is forecast to become a powerful extratropical low within five days.

After the catastrophe in the Bahamas, water levels should very slowly subside on Grand Bahamas Island and the Abaco Islands through Tuesday night. Near the coast, the storm surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

In the U.S., 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. Water could reach these heights above ground if the peak surge occurs during high tide:

  • the Georgia/South Carolina line to Cape Lookout, NC: 4 to 7 feet
  • Volusia/Brevard County line, FL, to the Georgia/South Carolina line: 3 to 5 feet
  • Cape Lookout to Duck, NC, including Pamlico and Albemarle sounds, and the Neuse and Pamlico rivers: 3 to 5 feet
  • Jupiter Inlet to the Volusia/Brevard County line, FL: 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:

  • NW Bahamas: an additional 1 to 3 inches, isolated storm totals over 30 inches.
  • Coastal Carolinas: 5 to 10 inches, isolated areas 15 inches.
  • Florida north of West Palm Beach through Georgia and across SE Virginia: 3 to 6 inches.

This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods.

from the National Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center

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 near the immediate east coast of Florida through Tuesday night. The risk will shift to the immediate coast of Georgia and the Carolinas on Wednesday into Thursday.


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

Click here to find all Florida counties, including inland ones 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

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.


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.

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

On Tuesday, Sept. 3, Hurricane Dorian was joined by Tropical Storm Fernand, threatening Mexico just south od Texas, and Tropical Depression #8. Look for details on them below.


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

Also Tuesday, Tropical Storm Fernand formed in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s just about 120 miles from the Mexican coast and the Mexican government issued a Tropical Storm Warning from Puerto Altamira to the mouth of the Rio Grande River, which is the U.S. border.

cone graphic
from the National Hurricane Center

Fernand is a minimal tropical storm with sustained winds near 40 mph and higher gusts, but tropical storm-force winds extend up to 105 miles from the center, mainly to the west.

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

That’s where the storm is headed, and slow strengthening is forecast before Fernand moves inland.

from the National Hurricane Center

Fernand is moving toward the west near 7 mph, but it may slow down a bit, Tuesday night.

Wednesday, it’s expected to lean right and move toward the west-northwest, followed even more Wednesday night with a move toward the northwest.

That would have the center of Fernand crossing the northeastern coast of Mexico, late Wednesday or Wednesday night.

time of arrival graphic
from the National Hurricane Center

Tropical storm conditions are actually expected to reach the coast late Tuesday night or early Wednesday, making outside preparations difficult or dangerous.

Squalls with gusts to tropical storm-force are likely north of the warning area along portions of the lower Texas coast.

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

Rainfall from Fernand through Friday should total 6 to 12 inches in northeast Mexico, with isolated areas getting 15 inches. The most is expected in the Sierra Madre Oriental of Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon, and may cause life-threatening mudslides and flash floods.

South Texas and the lower Texas coast us expected to get 2 to 4 inches, with isolated areas getting 6 inches.

Also, “A tornado or two are possible across far South Texas through Wednesday.”

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


Finally Tuesday, Tropical Depression #8 formed way out in the Atlantic. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph, but it’s expected to become the next tropical storm.

cone graphic
from the National Hurricane Center

TD #8 is moving northwest near 8 mph and expected to continue, but a little faster, over the next few days.

The depression is forecast to become a tropical storm on Wednesday, and get the name Gabrielle, but it’s not anticipated to become a hurricane during the workweek. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

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

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

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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