Sunday, Sept. 2, 2019 5 P.M.
Northern Bahamas still getting blasted
Dorian has weakened a bit today, down to a Cat 4, but is still very potent. The weakening trend should continue for awhile due to interaction with land. More importantly, weakening may be even greater than expected because the storm has essentially stopped. To simplify things, hurricanes grab a lot of their energy from the warm surface waters beneath them. But, when a tropical system stops, the warm surface water gets essentially “used up.” In fact, cooler water from below the ocean’s surface rises to the surface. When this happens, the hurricane becomes energy deprived and weakens. The longer Dorian remains stalled, the better the prospects become for the southeast U.S. coast.
As you might suspect, the closer (in time) Dorian comes to possible landfall, the closer the forecast agreement gets. But, there are still some very destructive scenarios to consider.
Florida and Georgia Coasts: Neither the GFS nor the euro models expect landfall along these coasts. The GFS, however, does nudge Dorian closer to the coast. Either way keeps any major storm problems away from these coasts.
South and North Carolina coasts: The GFS continues the northeast movement of Dorian. As the storm parallels the coast, A very strong storm surge will produce moderate to major damage. How much damage depends upon how much Dorian weakens by that time – late Tuesday into early Thursday. Another thing to consider is that the current weakening should be temporary. Dorian will be riding the Gulf Stream along the coast and that warm water favors reintensification.
Meanwhile, the euro has Dorian closer to the North Carolina coast, with a possible touching of land, over North Carolina. This is a decidedly worse scenario than the GFS is offering.
So in summary, the Florida and Georgia coastal areas are likely to have strong winds and very heavy rains. But, extreme conditions are not likely. However, severe damage is still a possibility for the Carolina coasts, especially from Myrtle Beach northward. But, things change. Stay tuned.