LONG POST: DORIAN + 2 MORE TROPICAL CONCERNS; SCATTERED STORMS LOCALLY TODAY… Hurricane Dorian is a dangerous category 4, major hurricane on this Saturday morning located just east of The Bahamas in the southwestern Atlantic Ocean. Significant impacts from Dorian will be possible in parts of the Florida Peninsula in the days ahead. There also could be impacts from Dorian in eastern Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina next week. The good news to report this morning is that, barring what would be a truly unprecedented shift in model trends, we are increasingly confident that direct impacts from Hurricane Dorian will very likely NOT affect south Alabama or northwest Florida. There is also more good news concerning Dorian this morning in that many more weather models have started to suggest that the core of this powerful hurricane could potentially stay completely offshore from Florida, sparing the state of major impacts. That is one idea on the table that has been growing in popularity among the weather models as of late. I *strongly* caution, however, that many more weather models DO suggest Dorian will make a landfall along the eastern coast of Florida. Totally separate from Dorian, we are also now monitoring two more areas of concern in the Atlantic basin that have at least some potential of becoming tropical storms over the next 3-5 days. We will also be tracking showers and thunderstorms that bubble up in the heat of the day across south Alabama and northwest Florida. Let’s look at all the details…
ISOLATED SHOWERS & STORMS LOCALLY TODAY… Showers and thunderstorms will pop up in the heat of the day on this Saturday. Most of the storms will happen between 11AM and 8PM. Not everyone across the local area will have rain before the end of the day. We’ll call it a 30-40% chance of showers and thunderstorms. Severe weather is not expected, although some of the storms may be on the strong side, capable of producing lightning, gusty winds, and very heavy downpours of rain. High temperatures will be around 92 in most spots.
DORIAN: SATURDAY MORNING – POTENTIAL LOCAL IMPACTS DISCUSSION… There is a very high chance that south Alabama and northwest Florida will NOT have any significant impacts from Hurricane Dorian. Model trends have been highly consistent in the last 24-48 hours in keeping the core of Dorian well to our east. I will continue to closely monitor the latest raw model output and specific forecasts for any notable changes, but as of now, ALL of the indications I have point to this hurricane completely missing our area to the east. Great news! Interests in the Florida Peninsula, eastern Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina should closely monitor the progress of Hurricane Dorian.
DORIAN: MAX WINDS REMAIN NEAR 140 MPH… As of 7AM Saturday, Hurricane Dorian remains a very dangerous, category 4 major hurricane with maximum winds near 140 mph. Minimum central pressure is down to near 948 millibars. Dorian continues to move west-northwest at approximately 10 miles per hour.
DORIAN: HURRICANE WARNINGS & WATCHES… The northwestern Bahamas remain under a Hurricane Warning as the core of Dorian approaches. This could be a devastating situation for the northernmost islands in the Bahamas. A Hurricane Watch continues for Andros Island. I expect that a Hurricane Watch will be issued for parts of the Atlantic coast of Florida later today with Hurricane Warnings likely tonight or early Sunday.
DORIAN: POTENTIAL FLORDA PENINSULA IMPACTS… The magnitude of specific impacts from Hurricane Dorian for the Florida Peninsula will depend largely on where the specific center of the system moves in the days ahead, right up until the point of potential landfall. In addition to 140+ mph winds in coastal areas, very heavy rain and flooding will be a major concern. This concern will be exacerbated if Dorian slows down or stalls over any given area in the Florida Peninsula. 10-15”+ of rain could happen in isolated spots, and those numbers may have to be adjusted higher over the next few days. Depending on the exact track of Dorian, tornadoes could also be a concern. Generally areas along and east of the center of the circulation of a hurricane have the worst and most frequent tornado issues. Storm surge and coastal flooding will also be major concerns. There is a chance, if the center of Dorian remains offshore, that some effects in the Florida Peninsula may be mitigated somewhat.
DORIAN: EXTENSIVE IMPACTS POSSIBLE IN PARTS OF FLORIDA PENINSULA… The official forecast from the National Hurricane Center says that Dorian will likely approach the Atlantic/eastern coast of Florida as a very dangerous category 4, major hurricane on Labor Day Monday into Tuesday. Interests in and near West Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Palm Bay, Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Titusville, Merritt Island, Orlando, New Smyrna Beach, Daytona Beach, Ormond Beach, Palm Coast, St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach, Brunswick (GA), and Savannah (GA) should CLOSELY monitor the progress of this dangerous hurricane. More rapid intensification is not out of the question, and the intensity forecast of Dorian may have to be adjusted higher in future forecasts! Don’t get so caught up in the category number (whether it’s a 3, 4, or 5) that you forget that potentially EXTREME impacts could happen in some of these areas!
20% CHANCE OF DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTHERN GULF… The National Hurricane Center is also keeping an eye on an area of low pressure currently situated near western Cuba. This low pressure area will move westward in the days ahead into the southern Gulf, just to the north of the Bay of Campeche. Some slow development of this system is possible, and a tropical storm may form by Wednesday or Thursday before the system moves west into northern Mexico. NHC says there is a 20% chance of tropical storm formation. This system will likely not directly affect south Alabama or northwest Florida.
40% CHANCE OF DEVELOPMENT IN EASTERN ATLANTIC… There is now a 40% chance of a tropical storm developing near the Cabo Verde (formerly known as the Cape Verde) Islands in the eastern Atlantic Ocean near Africa in the days ahead. A tropical wave emerged off of the African continent yesterday. This system will likely move northwest in the days ahead. We note that long-term model trends show this system moving into the open waters of the Atlantic and affecting no land areas. Great news!
FIRST LOOK AT NEXT WEEK… Showers and thunderstorms could happen on Sunday and perhaps on Monday afternoon as well. Beyond that, we’ve got a nice, sunny, hot week ahead. High temperatures will be in the mid-90s Monday through Friday with plenty of sunshine in store for Tuesday through Friday. Rain chances will remain suppressed due to a building ridge of high pressure across our area.
APP… redzoneweather.com/app is the link where you can download our free RedZone Weather app. Social networks don’t guarantee that you will see our forecast content or urgent warnings. That is why we have the RZW app available for you. Once you have the app downloaded to your iOS or Android device, be sure to visit the Alerts tab (lower right corner) then tap the large, yellow “Alert Settings” button to customize the alerts you want to receive straight from me. We encourage everyone to turn on “Medium-Level Alerts.” If you like a lot of notifications, turn on Low-Level Alerts too.
I’ll have another Hurricane Dorian update later today. Let me know if you have specific questions or concerns. Have a great Saturday.