The peak of the Atlantic Hurricane Season is in two weeks, so it’s no surprise that we are seeing an increase in tropical activity.
Hurricane Dorian is the strongest hurricane and the first major hurricane so far this year in the Atlantic. Major hurricanes are hurricanes that are a category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Scale and have winds of 111 mph or greater. Dorian has strengthened quickly over the last couple of days, and it looks like this storm will continue to strengthen over the next few days.
It’s important to note that this storm will stay far away from Illinois, but it will make a significant impact on Florida and possibly Georgia and the Carolinas by the middle and end of next week.
As of writing this (evening of Friday 8/30) Hurricane Dorian is a category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph. It will continue to move toward the Bahamas and Florida over the next few days.
By early next week, Dorian is expected to take a turn to the north, and depending on its track it could impact Georgia and the Carolinas by the middle and end of the upcoming work week.
One of the major forecast questions is exactly when will this storm make a turn. Some of the latest forecast models are suggesting it may turn early enough that it could not make landfall in Florida and stay just offshore. This would mean that the center of the storm would stay offshore, but that doesn’t mean Florida will get away unscathed.
This scenario reminds me of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. This storm did not make landfall in Florida, but rather paralleled the coast as it moved north.
However, whether or not this storm makes a direct landfall or not is somewhat irrelevant to me at this point. This will be a major storm for the Bahamas, and will likely have significant impacts for Florida and potentially other parts of the southeast.
The forecast will continue to be fine-tuned as Dorian approaches the Florida coast and as people there prepare for the first big hit of the hurricane season.