Hurricane Dorian Moving Northwestward Strengthening Underway
Reports from a NOAA plane indicate that Dorian is strengthening and the pressure has dropped from 986mb late this afternoon to 973mb. The plane is still that and recorded that on its first pass so we will watch for center passes in the next few hours to see if rapid strengthening is occuring. Certainly the radar presentation continues to improve. There is some indication on the loops that an eye may be forming. Dorian may be on its way to becoming a major hurricane and it may do so by Friday afternoon if this strengthening trend continues.
We have the two satellite perspectives here both tight and wide. We need to keep a close eye on disturbed weather that is in the Northwest Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico. Low pressure is going to develop in the south central Gulf of Mexico over the next several days and it will drift westward. This could be creating a weakness that Dorian is responding to with a more westerly course in the long range. That is being supported by many models this afternoon and evening.
Meantime Dorian is moving right along and the National Hurricane Center’s forecast remains about the same from earlier today. The northwest course turns to the west northwest on Friday as it heads to the Northern Bahamas over the weekend and into Florida perhaps on Monday however models continue to trend slower and slower with each model cycle. This makes sense considering the upper high and the weaker steering currents as it reaches the coastline.
The European shows the dilemma of the upper highs on either side and Dorian splitting through in between in an area of very weak flow. This is the reason why it takes 2 to 3 days for this system to move a couple of hundred miles. This could have big implications for rainfall which could be on the order of a foot plus in many areas in Florida close to the track of Dorian.
New model track guidance remains tightly clustered with the area of landfall which gives us a high degree of confidence of a Florida east coast landfall somewhere north of Miami and south of Daytona Beach.
The tougher part of the forecast is waiting to see if the slower global models which delay landfalls to late Monday or even early Tuesday wind up being correct. As far as strength is concerned, conditions remain very favorable for strengthening and I think there is a good chance we see Dorian reach category 4 strength before this is all said and done.
JOE & JOE WEATHER SHOW: JOE RAO & JOE CIOFFI
MANY THANKS TO TROPICAL TIDBITS FOR THE USE OF MAPS
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