6:42PM 8/26/2019 – RZW Exec

RZW EXEC: TRACKING DORIAN… RZW Exec members, good evening! Tropical Storm Dorian is gaining strength this evening as it approaches the Lesser Antilles. While it is still far too early to know whether local impacts will happen, model trends have been a bit discouraging today. We note that the ECMWF/Euro model has started flirting with the idea that Dorian may cross the Florida Peninsula and move into the northeastern Gulf by early next week. Again, that’s ONE idea on the table at this point. There is still a high chance that our local area won’t ever have to deal with this system. Below is the information I’ll be publishing publicly in the next hour or so. We will need to closely monitor this system in the days ahead. I’ll have updates for you here in RZW Exec as needed. Let me know if you have any questions!

DORIAN COULD IMPACT FLORIDA PENINSULA THIS WEEKEND; GULF IMPACTS UNCERTAIN… Tropical Storm Dorian continues to strengthen as it approaches the Lesser Antilles on this Monday evening. Maximum sustained winds are near 60mph. The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center shows Dorian becoming a hurricane over the eastern Caribbean Sea before impacting Puerto Rico and Hispaniola on Wednesday into Thursday. Hurricane Watches have been posted for parts of the Lesser Antilles with a Tropical Storm Watch now in effect for all of Puerto Rico. While impacts in south Florida and/or central Florida appear more likely this evening, it’s still completely unknown whether Dorian will move into the Gulf of Mexico early next week. We have a lot more questions than answers at this point. Let’s discuss what we do know AND what we don’t know just yet…

LOCAL IMPACTS DISCUSSION FOR SOUTH ALABAMA & NW FLORIDA… No one (and again, NO ONE) knows whether Gulf Coast impacts will happen because of Tropical Storm Dorian just yet. It is noteworthy that many more models are now flirting with the idea that Dorian may cross the Florida Peninsula and enter the Gulf of Mexico in 6-7 days. Is that a certainty? No, nowhere close, but again that idea is on the table at this point. So much will depend on the future strength and size of the system, and unfortunately we don’t have a good grip on that info until after Dorian passes or crosses Hispaniola and/or Puerto Rico in 2-3 days. I would encourage everyone reading this to check back with me multiple times daily over the next several days for the latest information. I hope we’re able to get more information that will completely rule out local impacts, but that has not been the trend so far today. We’ll keep you posted in the RedZone Weather app. redzoneweather.com/app is the link for the free download.

PROJECTED PATH CONFIDENCE IS HIGH; INTENSITY FORECAST IS VERY LOW… There is high confidence that Tropical Storm Dorian will continue moving in a west-northwest or northwesterly fashion in the days ahead. That puts Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic in the crosshairs from what could be a category 1 hurricane. As we discussed in detail in this morning’s forecast video, so much of the long range forecast depends on what happens in the short range. I mentioned this morning that if Dorian skirts along the northern periphery of the cone of uncertainty, the system may be stronger. That has been reflected in the forecast updates from the National Hurricane Center today. The cone of uncertainty has been adjusted slightly to the right/north. This means the system will be in a more conducive environment as it moves across the eastern Caribbean Sea with less atmospheric shear. It’s also notable that the latest cone of uncertainty shows the center line missing or nearly missing the land interaction with Hispaniola. That means the core of Dorian MAY be largely intact when it emerges over the southwestern Atlantic. The big takeaway here is that we still don’t know exactly how strong or weak Dorian will be when it gets into the Atlantic and potentially takes aim at southern Florida. Hispaniola may break the system apart completely, but trends today have pointed to the system perhaps being a bit stronger as it marches northwest.

MAXIMUM WINDS NOW AT 60MPH; DORIAN MOVING WEST-NORTHWEST… The 7PM CDT advisory for Tropical Storm Dorian has just been issued. The center of the storm is located at 12.8 North and 59.1 West. Maximum winds have increased from earlier today and are now pegged at 60 mph, making Dorian a strong tropical storm. Hurricane force winds start at 74 mph. The storm is moving west-northwest at 14 mph, meaning Dorian will come very close or pass right over Barbados in the next 12-24 hours. Minimum central pressure is down to 1002 millibars.

HURRICANE WATCH FOR ST. LUCIA; TROPICAL STORM WATCH FOR PUERTO RICO… St. Lucia is under a Hurricane Watch this evening as there is a potential for Dorian to ramp up to hurricane status before crossing the Lesser Antilles. Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Barbados, Martinique, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Dominica, Grenada, and Saba & St. Eustatius. Those are some of the smaller islands in the Lesser Antilles. The entirety of Puerto Rico is also under a Tropical Storm Watch. I wouldn’t be shocked if a Hurricane Watch is needed for Puerto Rico and parts of the Dominican Republic on Tuesday. If Dorian survives and the current forecast verifies, Hurricane Watches may be needed for parts of the Atlantic coast of Florida by Thursday or Friday.

NEXT UPDATE IN VIDEO AT 7:15AM… I’ll have the next full, detailed forecast video along with a long form text discussion uploaded by 7:15AM on Tuesday. Please check back with me for the very latest. More updates will be posted this evening and tomorrow throughout the day in the RedZone Weather app.

Please let me know if you have any questions… Have a good Monday evening!

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