Dorian jumps sideways …

As happens sometimes with weaker storms in hostile environments, the center of circulation of Dorian reformed north of its previous track/position after crossing St. Lucia.  Take a look at this comparison; the brown line is the 11am forecast, the back line the actual track, the red line the new forecast:

This means two things: first, a direct hit on Puerto Rico is now much more likely.  Second, it might be a bit weaker, but because of the direct hit, given the small size of the storm, a bit more impacts are likely.  Third, (ok, three things) it will be weaker entering The Bahamas.  Power outages and flash flooding are likely in store in Puerto Rico.  Not good.  Economic impacts are “only” forecast in the mid hundreds of millions, but that is partly because economic activity is still depressed.  Real impacts in the form of suffering, even for a weaker storm, are likely to be higher depending on how well preparations are going.  On the optimistic side, I’m hoping NHC is being too generous with the storm, and the dry air will keep it more suppressed that they are showing.

Track guidance is fairly tight for the dynamical models, but the intensity guidance is pretty split.  NHC is forecasting a recovery of the storm to near hurricane strength before landfall in mid-Florida this Labor Day weekend.  That’s not good for all the tourist businesses, so economic impacts for even a weak storm could be pretty dramatic.  Will have a better picture of that Thursday.  Meanwhile, folks in Florida who have a hurricane plan can still just watch and wait – and hope things go well in Puerto Rico; you’ll have time to figure out what to do later in the week.  Here’s the latest impact map based on the 5pm NHC forecast.  

For narcissists in GA/SC/NC who just have to know what this means for them, if you have a hurricane plan nothing to do or worry about at this time. The reformation to the north doesn’t mean it is more likely to hit you.   More than likely it will stay south and be guided into Florida and the Gulf by the mid and upper level winds.  Again, if it does start to do something wonky and head towards the SE coast, we’ll have plenty of warning.

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