Dorian Reaches Hurricane Strength; Track Re-centers on Florida

Satellite imagery of Hurricane Dorian as of 4:20 pm, Wed. Aug. 28. Dorian can be seen at the bottom right of the image. (NOAA)

Updated Story – 4:45 pm Aug. 28

Dorian has officially become a hurricane, and the National Hurricane Center expect it to reach at least category 3 strength before reaching the East Coast.

According to the NHC’s 5 pm update, “All indications are that by this Labor Day weekend, a powerful hurricane will be near or over the Florida peninsula.” The previous update included the southeast coast in that warning.


The official forecast track shows the storm making landfall in Florida or Georgia within five days, but the track has bounced around quite a bit and is subject to change.

The most recent runs of the GFS and Euro forecast models have pushed the storm inland, and are no longer tracking it up the southeast coast. This doesn’t mean the Carolinas are completely out of the woods though, as the models have been bouncing around a lot.

Dorian is currently located near Puerto Rico and is moving northwest at 13 mph.

Original Story – 10:30 am Aug. 28:

The National Hurricane Center adjusted Tropical Storm Dorian’s forecast track northward yet again, showing potential for land interaction as far north as the Outer Banks.


Recent storm tracks had the storm plowing into central Florida and moving toward the Gulf of Mexico, but that seems to be changing. The tracks have been bouncing around quite a bit lately due to quite a bit of variance in the forecast models, and according to the NHC confidence in Dorian’s long term track is low.

The storm is expected to strengthen over the next four days, but how strong it will get is also uncertain. Models show potential wind speeds on day four – when the storm should be near the coast of Florida – ranging from tropical storm strength to category three.

The bottom line: Dorian still could impact the North Carolina coast next week. “Could” is the key word here.

As of the latest forecast model runs this morning, the GFS shows as Dorian that runs up against Florida before following the coastline north and passing over Carteret County Sept. 3-4 as a very weak category 1. The last few runs of the GFS have shown this NC-bound trend.

The Euro model takes the storm on a slightly different path. Dorian would move over the Florida peninsula before making a northeast turn and passing right along the Crystal Coast as a tropical storm.

The CMC model also shows Dorian crossing over Florida but has the storm heading inland over Georgia and South Carolina.

Remember – these models are looking out several days, and fluctuations in potential path and intensity are expected. However, this latest northward trend should perk everyone’s ears up; don’t assume Florida will absorb the impact.

In other news Tropical Storm Erin formed overnight and is currently southeast of the Carolina coast. It poses no direct threats to land. No other tropical waves are being monitored by the NHC at this time.

Follow the official NHC forecast on their website and the local National Weather Service office on Facebook.