11PM Wednesday: Dorian Remains a Legitimate Potential Threat. Prepare, but Don’t Panic.

Hurricane Dorian remains a legitimate… but still uncertain… threat to the Attractions area. The storm showed unmistakable signs of becoming better organized and strengthening after passing Puerto Rico earlier Wednesday. The 11PM Advisory keeps the storm at Category 3 strength (115 mph winds) in advance of landfall south of Port Canaveral, and then passes over the attractions Monday night as a category 1 storm (92 mph winds).

The forecast continues to be fine-tuned as each model run comes in, and it can certainly still change. Regardless, it is advisable that Central Floridians have the storm supplies they’ll need to weather the storm should it approach… and also be ready to take preparedness actions such as securing outdoor items in the event that the path brings high winds to the area.

We’ve been speaking for a few days about the high level of uncertainty within the long-term path. We still do not know exactly where it will wind up. But confidence is increasing (yet still not 100%) that some part of Florida will be the target.

Why the uncertainty after all this time? The major forecast models still do not agree. The images below are outputs from three different forecast models initiated at the same time Wednesday, each showing where it thinks the storm will be at around 8AM Monday. Images courtesy TropicalTidbits.com

With these models in disagreement, it’s no surprise that forecasters are finding this to be a tremendously challenging storm to predict.

Heavy rainfall remains a major concern. The updated forecast from the Weather Prediction Center shows the potential for flooding rains along the coast, and maybe inland.

Rainfall Forecast

The threat of the storm can be scary. But a lot of that is just fear of the unknown. We’ll keep you informed. Central Floridians will get through this. And truth be told, we don’t even know for sure exactly what our impacts will be. We’ll know even more as the overnight forecast model runs are processed.

Key messages from the NHC:

1. The risk of dangerous storm surge and hurricane-force winds later
this week and this weekend continues to increase in the central and
northwestern Bahamas and along the Florida east coast, although it
is too soon to determine where these hazards will occur.  Residents
in these areas should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place
and not focus on the exact forecast track of Dorian's center.

2. Heavy rains are expected to occur over portions of the Bahamas,
Florida, and elsewhere in the southeastern United States later this
week and into early next week.

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