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Northwestern Bahamas: A dangerous virtual standstill for Hurricane Dorian

Northwestern Bahamas: A dangerous virtual standstill for Hurricane Dorian

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Latest comments on Category 4 hurricane Dorian predicts the storm will come to a virtual standstill as it reaches the Bahamas, and creating an even bigger danger for the Northwestern Bahama Region.

Florida is still on the path of the storm, but there are opportunities for Dorian to slightly turn and weaken.

Some experts think, such a long stay of this gigantic storm over the Bahamas may cool the ocean slightly causing a faster turn and a slowing.

Therefore Hurricane Dorian’s forecast path continued to veer away from Florida with the 2 p.m. Saturday advisory from the National Hurricane Center, although most of the State’s east coast remains within the danger zone. Schools will be closed Tuesday in Palm Beach County, which stands to get more severe winds than Broward or Miami-Dade.

A prolonged period of life-threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane-force winds are expected in portions of the northwestern Bahamas, particularly on the Abaco Islands and Grand  Bahama Island.  A hurricane warning is in effect for these areas, and residents should listen to the advice given by local emergency officials and have their hurricane preparations completed today. Other regions in the Bahamas including Nassau will experience torrential rains and dangerous winds, but a Hurricane warning for Nassau is not called at this time.

Dorian’s satellite presentation is outstanding with a distinct eye of about 15 n mi in diameter. Both NOAA and Air Force Hurricane

Hunter planes have been penetrating the eye this morning and based on a blend of the flight-level and SFMR winds, the initial intensity has been adjusted upward to 130 kt in this advisory. Dorian is forecast to move over a deep layer of very warm waters, which is like high octane-fuel for hurricanes. The combination of the warm ocean and the prevailing low shear along Dorian’s path should favor some additional strengthening, but most likely the hurricane will experience some fluctuations in intensity due to eyewall replacement cycles that are difficult to predict. Beyond 3 days, as the hurricane begins to gain in latitude a gradual weakening is anticipated.

Plane fixes indicate that Dorian is moving toward the west or 280 degrees at 7 kt, steered by weak flow to the south of the ridge of high pressure over the western Atlantic. Most of the global models shift the high eastward and deepens a trough over the eastern United States beyond 2 days.  This steering flow would typically favor a gradual turn of the hurricane to the northwest and north, however, there is large uncertainty in the exact location and timing of this northward turn. Although the latest guidance has shifted a little bit eastward again this morning, there are still ECMWF and GFS ensemble members that do not forecast the northward turn so soon. On this basis, NHC prefers to shift the track forecast just a little bit to the right of the previous one, and the new official forecast lies along the western edge of the guidance envelope. This will allow for further adjustments in the track during future forecast cycles.


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