🌀Dorian’s forecast track is shifting; hurricane will likely travel parallel to coast

Posted at 11:06 AM, Aug 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-01 00:04:11-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Hurricane Dorian remains a powerful category four storm, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.

Here is a picture of the radar from the NOAA airplane that flew into the storm to gather new data:

Dorian a strong category four hurricane.  If the winds increase a little more, Dorian will become a category five hurricane, at least for a short period of time.

The storm will travel over warmer ocean water as it nears Florida.

The updated track from the National Hurricane Center has been pushed farther east.  The center of the storm will likely stay offshore of Florida, and it will travel parallel to the coast.

With this track, the strongest winds will be well offshore, the amounts of wind, rain and surge will be less for Florida.

A major component of this forecast is the speed of Dorian.  The storm is expected to slow down, and it may be near Florida from Monday evening through early Wednesday.  This would be a prolonged period of heavy rainfall along the coast.

The various computer models have narrowed the possible paths, but there is still a bit of a spread. The latest run of computer models have the storm staying east of the Florida coast.

Here is a look at a plot of more model tracks from the past 24 hours.  The solutions range from a Florida landfall to the storm staying completely over the ocean and never making a U.S. landfall.

The reason for the difficulty of the track forecast is due to some factors influencing the storm's movement.  A ridge of high pressure to the northeast of the storm will play a large part.  Its exact position and strength will determine how far the storm shifts in a particular direction, and a track change of just 50 miles will make a huge difference.

If the storm moves near or over the Outer Banks, central Virginia would receive rainfall Thursday into Friday.  The amounts will depend on the exact track, and computer model rainfall ranges from a few showers to a few inches of rain.  And the exact track will determine if we see breezy conditions or gusts over 30 mph.

A lot will continue to change with the storm over the next few days.  We will have further updates over the rest of the holiday weekend.  Additional details are available in the CBS 6 Hurricane Tracker.

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