Dorian, now a Category Three Hurricane as of Friday afternoon, continues to strengthen, but an exact path continues to be elusive. The 5PM track carries the storm up the eastern coast of Florida, starting as a category 4 (140 MPH) at landfall Tuesday afternoon in south Florida and only dropping to Category 2 (100 MPH winds) by Wednesday afternoon near Jacksonville.
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for portions of the Bahamas, including Disney’s Castaway Cay.
Some key exceprts from the National Hurricane Center:
Since the upper-level environment is already becoming more favorable for intensification and Dorian will be over high sea surface temperatures, the NHC forecast calls for additional intensification. Dorian is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane as it moves through the northwestern Bahamas and near the east coast of the Florida peninsula in about 2 to 4 days.
The models have not been very consistent from run to run in terms of the timing of the northward turn, but there are more models now indicating that the turn could occur near the east coast of Florida instead of well inland. Given this latest change, the NHC forecast has been shifted just a little to the right at this time, but users should be prepared for additional adjustments to the left or right depending on future model trends. Based on the new forecast, a hurricane warning has been issued for portions of the northwest Bahamas. However, given the slower forecast speed of Dorian, it is too soon to issue and watches for the Florida coast at this time.
Life-threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane-force winds are likely 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.
Residents of the Attractions area should considering performing their final hurricane preparations Saturday and early Sunday, and prepare to shelter in place as conditions warrant by late Sunday or Monday as potential tropical storm force winds begin to occur. The path may still change, and the impacts may still change.
Our next updated track will be at 11PM. If this is your first hurricane… you got this. Keep calm and carry on!