Hurricane Dorian remains stationary, now weak Category 4

Slow-moving Category 4 hurricane pummels Bahamas, remains stationary

By Bryan Norcross - Hurricane Specialist

Hurricane Dorian continued to weaken as it stalled over the Bahamas, with parts of Florida's east coast feeling the impact of the storm.

In the 11 p.m. advisory, Dorian's winds weakened to 130 mph, leaving the storm as a weak Category 4, though the winds could increase later tonight. The storm stalled Monday afternoon and remains stationary.

The new advisory also took Florida out of Dorian's forecast cone. 

Stronger winds will impact Florida farther north of Broward and Miami-Dade, but we will know the hurricane is nearby. All Tropical Storm watches and Hurricane warnings in Broward and Palm Beach County remain in place.

Hurricane Dorian is mauling Grand Bahama Island as the storm crawls along the length of the island. Grand Bahama is due east of Palm Beach, so the storm's center is already well north of Broward and Miami-Dade.

As Dorian has moved through the Bahamas, its top winds have come down slightly, but the radius of the strong winds away from the storm center has grown.  Essentially, the energy has been distributed over a larger area.

Occasional tropical downpours may become a bit gustier overnight in South Florida, then slowly the winds will decrease tomorrow.  By afternoon, Dorian will have moved north, taking its gusty winds with it.  The winds will finally let up in the Bahamas as well.  Normal summer weather will return on Wednesday – although it will be extremely hot.

So far, the extreme weather has prevented aid from reaching Great Abaco and Grand Bahama islands, but that should be possible tomorrow.  
 

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Dorian is slowly weakening as it goes through internal changes.  The main eyewall is dying out, being replaced by a larger, outer eyewall – a process called an eyewall replacement cycle.  The result is a slightly larger storm, but with weaker top winds. 

In addition, the circulation is interacting with Grand Bahama Island, which is slightly disrupting the flow, and it's churning up cooler ocean water – another weakening factor.

The forecast calls for Dorian to track much closer to the Central Florida coast late tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday than it ever came to South Florida.  

Unless they get very lucky, there will be significant impacts along the coast.  If the Dorian's center jogs to the left just a bit, extreme conditions would cover coastal sections.  Since we can't predict the track exactly, hurricane preparations are required.  Evacuations have been ordered from Palm Beach County north up the Florida Coast.

Farther north, coastal Georgia is also threatened, although Dorian will most likely stay offshore.  But it will come closer or over the South and North Carolina coast.  The current forecast says it will be stronger than Hurricane Matthew was in the 2016, but moving faster.  So the flood threat, at this point, is not as extreme.
 

Here are the Key Messages from the National Hurricane Center:

1. Devastating winds and storm surge will continue to affect Grand Bahama Island through tonight. Everyone there should remain in shelter and not venture into the eye.

2. Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center. Water levels could begin to rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds. Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local emergency officials.

3. The risk of life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds continues to increase along the coast North Carolina. Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local emergency officials.

4. Heavy rains, capable of producing life-threatening flash floods, are expected over northern portions of the Bahamas and coastal sections of the southeast and lower mid-Atlantic regions of the United States through Friday.

Elsewhere in the tropics, we will likely have a couple new tropical depressions or tropical storms soon. But none are expected be threaten the U.S.  In addition, a tropical disturbance will move off of Africa. The computer forecast models say it will develop.  We will be watching it next week.
 

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