Hurricane Dorian continues to violently churn slowly through the Bahamas overnight on it's way to Florida for what looks to be a two day assault on the state's "Space Coast". Dorian made landfall at 12:45pm Sunday as a Category 5 with winds at 185 mph and pressure of 910mb. This ties it with Hurricane Ivan for the 9th strongest Atlantic hurricane by land-falling pressure at 910 mb and ties it for the strongest by land-falling winds with the Florida Key's Labor Day Hurricane of 1935.
There was only one other storm which cruised through the Caribbean into the Gulf of Mexico with higher land-falling winds which was Hurricane Allen in (1980). Winds with that storm touched 190 mph. Dorian also made a second landfall at Marsh Harbour around 3pm with gusts up to 220 mph and storm surge of 20+ feet.
Currently the storm continues to chug toward Freeport on Grand Bahama Island. Hurricane Hunter Recon continues to reveal a potent Category 5 storm which has slowed somewhat in westward motion. The storm movement has dropped to 5 mph with an expected stall overnight leaving the bulk of the 70,000 in the Grand Bahama and Absacos Islands trapped underneath this never ending monster. With all that said these violent weather conditions are just 70 miles from the United States (Florida Coastline).
As the storm stalls that's where the uncertainty comes into play. A wobble 10 miles east or west could be the margin of error we are dealing with when it comes to this forecast. For that reason the National Hurricane Center has placed areas from Boca Raton north to Melbourne and Daytona Beach in a Hurricane Warning. Places like West Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale are in Tropical Storm Warnings and Watches. Those watches also extend inland to Orlando as well as Lake Okeechobee.
Evacuations are in place in some counties at the coast as well as in other states such as South Carolina and Georgia which doesn't look to see the storm until Tuesday into Wednesday.
The current track continues to show the westerly progression with the sharp turn north. Whether it's down the middle of the cone or off to the west drastic impacts will be likely. Worst case is the western edge of the cone which could be life threatening for those at the coast with hurricane force winds, devastating surge, and rainfall over 10"+. Best case would be a more easterly track limiting the blow to tropical storm winds and a little rain.
If the storm does not landfall in Florida all eyes turn toward the Carolinas. Right now the center line point puts a CATEGORY 3/4 storm near Wilmington, NC or even Cape Hatteras, NC during the Wednesday-Thursday time-frame. Once again devastating storm surge, destructive winds, and flooding rain would be likely.
Finally for those wondering if the storm will impact Maryland, well we have your answer. It is not out of the realm of possibility that we see effects from Dorian. The best locations to see this are of course the lower Eastern Shore, Ocean City, and Virginia Beach.
These locations could see a heavy burst of rain Thursday night into Friday along with tropical storm force winds with gusts over 50 mph as the storm cruises by east. Both the Euro and GFS (American Model) hold to a solution close to the area so stay tuned!!