11AM Update 8/29 - Hurricane Dorian - Ed Piotrowski

This is the latest from Ed Piotrowski:


INTENSITY - There still doesn't seem to be any obvious reasons why Dorian won't intensify and perhaps do so rapidly. The atmosphere is sufficiently moist, water temperatures are well above 80º and the wind shear is fairly light. These factors combined are why most of the model guidance suggest Dorian will grow to become a category 3 or 4 hurricane Friday or Saturday.

TRACK - The forecast for the next 2 days is pretty straight forward with a general track to the northwest over the open Atlantic ocean. By late Friday and into Saturday, high pressure will strengthen to the north of Dorian and force it more westward in the general direction of Florida. While most of the guidance continues to show landfall in Florida late Monday into Tuesday, it's not a slam dunk. As Dorian approaches Florida, the western extent of the high-pressure system will begin to weaken causing Dorian to slow down. Dorian will gradually turn northward around that high but precisely when and where is unclear. A faster Dorain and stronger high would delay the turn until it got to the Gulf of Mexico. A slower Dorian and weaker high would allow for an earlier turn perhaps just before reaching the Florida coast. While a turn northward before landfall in Florida is still the least likely scenario, it can't be dismissed. That early turn would obviously increase the threat to the Carolinas after Wednesday of next week but doesn't guarantee impacts. Although very unlikely, it's still conceivable that an early turn could allow Dorian to escape out to sea.

Bottom-line, Florida is still most likely to take a direct hit. Precisely where is unknown this far out but impacts there could be felt as early as Sunday night and continue into Monday and Tuesday.

For the Carolinas, the risk of Dorian coming directly at us is still low but cannot be discounted. While there will be showers and storms around this weekend, it won't be from Dorian. IF Dorian were to have a direct impact on our weather, it wouldn't be until after Wednesday of next week.

PLEASE stay vigilant and check back for updates this afternoon and through the weekend.

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