Dorian Saturday Evening (31 August) Update

Not much has changed other than Dorian continues on a westerly heading.  It’s an impressive storm, here is a late afternoon GOES false color image …

NHC didn’t really shift their track much.  It is presently in about the middle of the guidance envelope, which takes the storm just through the northern Bahamas, then about 70 miles offshore from Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.  Given the asymmetric nature of storms, and frictional effects of land, that just puts tropical storm force winds right on the shoreline from around Fort Pierce Florida up through Wilmington NC.

In addition to the warnings in the Bahamas, there is now a tropical storm watch up for part of the Florida shoreline.  There are evacuation orders for some residents in Brevard County (the Melbourne/Cocoa Beach/Kennedy Space Center area).  But mostly we are in the “breath holding” phase, as the guidance seems to indicate a turn close to the shore rather than a direct hit.  So for GA/SC, given the slow speed, it’s still a waiting game – but so far, still no need to take precipitous action.

In past years, a storm on this track would have already started massive evacuations.  It is a testament to the great work by tropical cyclone researchers and forecasters that we can watch a storm this powerful get this close and not freak out.  Well, you know what I mean 🙂

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