At 7PM, Ed Piotrowski did an update:
THURSDAY 7PM HURRICANE DORIAN UPDATE
Forecasting where a tropical system will be 4-5 days from right now is challenging, especially when the steering currents are weak. The ridge of high pressure I've talked about for days is going to strengthen Friday and turn Dorian west toward Florida, but then it breaks down over the weekend leaving very weak steering currents behind. Because of this, Dorianwill slow down substantially. Unfortunately, the models differ on how much the high-pressure ridge weakens which leaves the door open for Dorian to turn north. Exactly when and where that happens is the big unknown right now.
Based on everything I've seen over the past few days and today, there are 4 scenarios that could play out. In the graphic, I show you each scenario, what the impacts would be, and what the chances are of each occurring. Keep in mind that IF we have any impacts around here, it wouldn't be until AFTER Wednesday of next week.
SCENARIO #1 - This is the most likely scenario right now. Dorian would make landfall in Florida and stay over land as it moved northward. That would weaken it quickly so that by the time it came through here, we wouldn't have huge impacts. We would experience bands of heavy rain that could lead to some flooding and a tornado risk but minimal wind and storm surge impacts. Odds of this happening are 45%.
SCENARIO #2 - This is the least likely scenario right now. If high pressure remains strong, it would keep Dorian on a more westerly track for a longer amount of time before it turned north. It would track so far to the west of us that we'd have virtually no impacts here. Odds of this happening are 15%.
SCENARIO #3 - This is the worst-case scenario right now. If Dorian turns before reaching the Florida coast, that would keep it over warm waters that would likely keep it a strong hurricane headed toward the Carolinas coast. Obviously, this would bring huge impacts including heavy, flooding rain, high wind, a tornado threat, and a significant storm surge. Thankfully the chances of this happening remain very low at 20%.
SCENARIO #4 - This is the scenario everyone wants! If Dorain is really slow, the high pressure could break down substantially allowing Dorian to turn north then round the high and head northeast and out to sea. The odds of this happening are at 20%.
These numbers will be slow to change and will be based on trends in the models and their ensembles over the coming days. One piece of advice if you look at models online: They change every six hours and often swing one way or the other wildly. Don't get freaked out or let your guard down because of ONE model run.
I said this earlier but I'll say it again. IF we are going to see any impacts around here, it won't be until after Wednesday of next week so you have nothing to worry about through the weekend. The only thing you need to do is keep an eye on it and have your hurricane plan together, just in case.
I'll have another update Friday morning by 11am.