Category 2 Hurricane Dorian tracks along Florida coast

Storm travels at a quicker pace, moving northwest at 6 mph

By Bryan Norcross - Hurricane Specialist

Hurricane Dorian is slowly moving away from the northern Bahamas as a strong Category 2 storm and in the 11 p.m. advisory was moving northwest at 6 mph with 110 mph winds.

The tropical storm watch for Broward County has been removed. The hurricane watch in Palm Beach County has also been lifted, although a tropical storm warning remains in place.

The strong winds from Hurricane Dorian will finally move out of the Bahamas Tuesday evening so full-scale relief operations can begin Wednesday.  

The main impacts from the storm will be in Central Florida, North Florida, and Georgia Tuesday night and Wednesday, then in the Carolinas.  

Dorian's main effect in South Florida will be to make the weather extra hot.

The center of Hurricane Dorian is about 100 miles offshore of the Central Florida coast.  While the storm's top winds are weakening, it is growing in size.  

Gusts up to hurricane force will rotate over coastal communities in the outer bands.  If Dorian jogs just a little to the left, winds will be much stronger.  

The larger-diameter storm will still produce storm surge on the Florida coast north of Palm Beach County flooding low-lying areas.  

The ocean water is forecast to rise 2 to 4 feet above normally dry ground.  In Jacksonville, the water will be pushed into the St. Johns River, causing flooding well inland.

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Farther north, in South and North Carolina, Hurricane Warnings are in effect.  The strongest winds are forecast to track over or very near the Carolina coast.  

Flooding rain and storm surge are also threats there on Thursday and Friday. 

Late Friday, Dorian will be offshore of the Mid-Atlantic.  It could come close enough to New England to produce heavy rain and wind at the coast.  

Significant impacts are possible from Virginia to New England, including in areas that are very vulnerable to storm surge after having dunes washed away in Hurricane Sandy.   

Here are the Key Messages on Dorian from the National Hurricane Center:

  1. Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian's center. Water levels could rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds. Residents in these areas should follow advice given by local emergency officials.
  2. The risk of wind and rain impacts along portions of the Virginia coast and the southern Chesapeake Bay are increasing. Residents in these areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian.
  3. The flash flood threat will increase tonight along the Florida east coast and then spread up the southeast and mid-Atlantic coast during the middle and latter part of the week.

Elsewhere in the tropics, a tropical depression will form at any time in the western Gulf of Mexico -- it is technically called Potential Tropical Cyclone Seven. It is forecast to intensify just a bit before it moves into Mexico. In the far eastern Atlantic, a disturbance is likely to intensify into a tropical storm or hurricane. It is not expected to affect land. The names of those systems will be Fernand and Gabrielle.

There is another system in the middle of the Atlantic that has a good chance of developing near Bermuda.  And a strong tropical disturbance will move off of Africa soon.  We will watch for its development next week.

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