The 11 PM Advisory is out, and Dorian remains a potentially dangerous Category Four hurricane with sustained winds of 140 MPH. The current expected path could have extended impacts on Disney’s Castaway Cay with the storm barely moving through the Bahamas late Sunday to late Monday, and potentially subjecting the area to 24 hours of high winds. Then, it would make a glancing landfall near Port Canaveral Tuesday night with 125 MPH winds. Finally, a slow crawl up the Florida coast through Wednesday night with winds dropping to “only” 105 MPH, winding up off the coast of the Georgia-Florida border.
Yes, the cone can and probably will change again.
We can’t stress enough that, while watching the jiggling of the cone and its central path is natural, it’s important not to focus solely on where the hurricane icons are. Not only can the path continue to change, but Tropical Storm and Hurricane Force winds can extend quite a distance in either direction of the center of the storm. At last report, Hurricane Force winds covered about 25 miles out from the center of the storm, with Tropical Storm force winds about 90 miles out.
Residents in the Attractions area should be making their final preparations on Saturday or early Sunday. Earliest reasonable arrival time of Tropical Storm force winds in the Attractions area is Sunday at 8PM, with Monday at 8PM being more likely. There is a legitimate risk of a prolonged period of high winds and torrential rain. Even if the worst of the wind eludes the attractions, excessive rainfall remains a significant threat in Florida, with up to 18 inches possible in isolated areas within the state.
Some key messages from the NHC this advisory:
LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGE AND DEVASTATING HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS ARE POSSIBLE ALONG PORTIONS OF THE FLORIDA EAST COAST BY EARLY NEXT WEEK, BUT SINCE DORIAN IS FORECAST TO SLOW DOWN AND TURN NORTHWARD NEAR THE COAST, IT IS TOO SOON TO DETERMINE WHEN OR WHERE THE HIGHEST SURGE AND WINDS WILL OCCUR. RESIDENTS SHOULD HAVE THEIR HURRICANE PLAN IN PLACE, KNOW IF THEY ARE IN A HURRICANE EVACUATION ZONE, AND LISTEN TO ADVICE GIVEN BY LOCAL EMERGENCY OFFICIALS. A PROLONGED PERIOD OF STORM SURGE, HIGH WINDS, AND RAINFALL IS POSSIBLE IN PORTIONS OF FLORIDA INTO NEXT WEEK, INCLUDING THE POSSIBILITY OF HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS OVER INLAND PORTIONS OF THE FLORIDA PENINSULA. HEAVY RAINS, CAPABLE OF LIFE-THREATENING FLASH FLOODS, ARE EXPECTED OVER PORTIONS OF THE BAHAMAS AND COASTAL SECTIONS OF THE SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES THIS WEEKEND THROUGH MUCH OF NEXT WEEK.
Next path is due at 5AM. There’s a decent chance that hurricane watches for the Florida mainland might be posted at that time, or sometime on Saturday.