As forecast the storm had a very steep gradient of rain and impacts. Here is the storm total precipitation map for the last day or so, from the Charleston (actually, Gray’s SC) NEXRAD radar. In Savannah there was on the order of 1 inch, whereas it seems over 2.5 inches at Tybee. Further north the totals increase, and the Charleston area has seen upwards of 5 inches. A reminder you can click to expand any image in the blog.
For the big picture, intense rain bands are battering the NC coast …
As for what’s next, here is the latest impact map. With the focus on the US Coast, please don’t forget the devastation in The Bahamas. As noted previously, the economic impacts are sure to be in excess of $5 Billion. The death toll is growing, and won’t be known for many days yet. US economic impacts are likely to be on the order of $8 Billion – of which nearly half are indirect impacts due to evacuations and the disrupted Labor Day weekend across Florida. My new Stribog/Domovoy modeling system estimates the evacuation disruption to Chatham County Georgia (Savannah) alone are over $130 Million dollars.
The Savannah/Hilton Head area are now on the back edge of the storm. Conditions should improve pretty rapidly this morning, and by afternoon this will be over for Georgia. Winds have reversed, and it looks like the peak from Dorian at the Fort Pulaski tide gauge was yesterday afternoon’s 9.55 feet; in other words, less than the unrelated high tides over the Labor Day weekend. This lower peak was because the storm was slower, had a different wind field geometry, and was farther offshore than forecast.
For the Charleston area, the next few hours are critical. As noted in the rain and STP displays above, Savannah’s wicked stepsister has received on the order of 5 inches of rain. and more rain bands and onshore winds will be sweeping across the city until late afternoon. Winds are a bit tricky, but more likely will be in the strong tropical storm range, with hurricane force winds possible more northward. Dorian is moving faster and should accelerate today, so by tomorrow will be past South Carolina and will be off of Jacksonville (NC, not FL!). By Sunday it is forecast to be losing its tropical characteristics, and hitting Nova Scotia and Newfoundland with hurricane force winds.