Hurricane Dorian: 'It's Going to be Extremely Close' Says Hurricane Specialist




  • In World/Latin America
  • 2019-09-02 01:48:13Z
  • By By Audrey.McNamara@thedailybeast.com (Audrey McNamara)
 

Hurricane Dorian's winds have howled with gusts of up to 220 mph across the Caribbean, with sustained winds at 185 mph, making it the strongest storm to ever hover east of Florida, or that far north in the Atlantic Ocean, and tying it in second for highest winds ever recorded in the Atlantic.

The merciless storm hit the island of Great Abaco in the Bahamas with that force on Sunday, leaving total devastation. The landfall officially tied Dorian with the decades-old record held by the 1935 Labor Day hurricane for the strongest winds of any storm to hit land. The slowly encroaching Hurricane was moved to Category 5 on Sunday-the highest category on the Saffir-Simpson scale, which classifies hurricanes based off of sustained wind speed.

With just 205 miles between Dorian and the Florida coastline, President Trump made the declaration on Twitter on Sunday that 2019's Labor Day storm "is looking like one of the largest hurricanes ever." Later in the day, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (R) ordered a mandatory evacuation of the state's entire coastline in the possibility that Dorian sweeps northward on Wednesday.

Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University's Department of Atmospheric Science specializing in Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane forecasts, talked to The Daily Beast about the likelihood that Dorian's wrath could reach the United States, and the devastation it could cause.

What are the chances that Dorian will hit the United States at the 185 mph speed it is sustaining right now?

As it approaches the United States, it should encounter some stronger vertical wind shear which should begin to weaken the storm somewhat. It's still forecast to turn north just before it gets to Florida. It's going to be extremely close, but at this point, an actual landfall seems relatively low.

If it tracks close enough to the coast though, there could still be very substantial impacts including high winds and some storm surge. There could still be a landfall further up the coast in either Georgia or the Carolinas.

What does a Category 5 storm entail?

That generally means pretty much complete destruction for everything in its path.

If Dorian does make landfall on the U.S., what kind of impact could it have on affected states?

It all depends on how close the storm gets. It is going to be tracking perpendicular to the coastline when it approaches, so small angle of approach changes could make huge differences in impacts.

The Slower Hurricane Dorian Moves, the More Dangerous It Is

What makes Dorian different from other recent storms?

Dorian is an extremely powerful hurricane. It has maximum sustained winds of 185 mph. In the Atlantic basin, there's only been one hurricane with stronger winds: Hurricane Allen in 1980.

How does climate change, the warming ocean, affect hurricanes or specifically this one?

In the area where Dorian underwent its strongest intensification, water temperatures were near average. It's just that waters near the Bahamas are super hot on average. Currently they're 85-88°F.

Hurricanes live off of warm ocean hot water, and those kinds of temperatures are like jet fuel for hurricanes. Sea level rise is likely to exacerbate storm surge, since the background sea level will be higher. A warmer atmosphere means more rainfall, since a warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor. Hurricanes may get a bit stronger (e.g., higher winds) in the future too, although there is a lot of uncertainty there.


Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!

Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Isaias, again a tropical storm, spawns wild inland weather
Isaias, again a tropical storm, spawns wild inland weather
  • World
  • 2020-08-04 10:25:53Z

Tropical Storm Isaias spawned tornadoes and dumped rain during an inland march up the U.S. East Coast on Tuesday after making landfall as a hurricane near Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina. The hurricane's eye moved over land just after 11 p.m. on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (136 km/h), and its top winds dropped to 70 miles per hour (117 km/h) by early Tuesday. "We don't think there is going to be a whole lot of weakening, we still think there's going to be very strong and gusty winds that will affect much of the mid-atlantic and the Northeast over the next day or two," Robbie Berg, a hurricane specialist with the National Hurricane Center, told The Associated Press.

Isaias lashes US east coast with fierce winds, heavy rain
Isaias lashes US east coast with fierce winds, heavy rain

Hurricane Isaias slammed into North Carolina bringing life-threatening storm surges, as the entire US eastern seaboard battened down, fearing tornadoes, flash floods and destructive winds. Packing sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (around 140 kilometers per hour), the Category 1 hurricane made landfall in the southern part of the state on Monday just before midnight (0400 GMT), the National Hurricane Center said. Seawater flowed into streets on the border between the Carolinas, leaving locals to wade through the flooded areas as rain and strong winds whipped the palm trees.

Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in North Carolina
Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in North Carolina
  • World
  • 2020-08-04 03:48:52Z

The hurricane touched down just after 11 p.m. on Monday with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (136 km/h). Coastal shops and restaurants closed early, power began to flicker at oceanfront hotels and even the most adventurous of beachgoers abandoned the sand Monday night as newly restrengthened Hurricane Isaias sped toward the Carolinas. The U.S. National Hurricane Center warned oceanside home dwellers to brace for storm surge up to 5 feet (1.5 meters) and up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of rain in spots, as Isaias moved up the coast.

Isaias could strengthen to a hurricane; 112 million Americans under a tropical storm warning
Isaias could strengthen to a hurricane; 112 million Americans under a tropical storm warning

Isaias strengthened into hurricane priort to making landfall in the Carolinas on Monday night, will bring dangerous storm surge and flash flooding.

Isaias forecast to hit Carolinas as a hurricane
Isaias forecast to hit Carolinas as a hurricane

The storm is expected to make landfall on Monday night with "dangerous winds and storm surge".

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Latin America