Friday, August 30, 2019

Hurricane Dorian: 9:35a Friday

Dorian's winds are now 110 mph with a central barometric pressure of 972 millibars. Additional strengthening -- to Cat 4 wind speeds -- is forecast before landfall. A vicious storm surge is likely at landfall. When combined with higher than normal tides, it will likely be a devastating storm near where the center crosses the coast when the eye arrives Monday.

As to the location of landfall, my forecast hasn't changed since yesterday: between Miami and Daytona Beach. 

If you have friends/family in the threatened area, please pass this along to them.

Here are the times by which you should have your preparations complete.
click to enlarge
Below is a rough idea of the placement of the winds. Keep in mind this could shift north or south.
Coastal buildings would be devastated due to the combination of winds and storm surge.

The above is the latest forecast from the ECMWF model. If this were to be a perfect forecast, it would be one of, if not the costliest, disasters in U.S. history because of the extensive area that would receive winds of 50 mph. The geographic area that would receive power failures would be huge, requiring assistance from throughout the region and, perhaps, the nation. For example, in this scenario, Orlando and Jacksonville would both receive 72 mph gusts.

Extensive flooding is likely in areas that receive heavy rains. Plus, a "king tide" will occur along the Florida coast which will cause coastal flooding apart from the storm surge.
(This rainfall map is a reasonable, but not the only, scenario. The pattern could shift).

Having just spent a week in Ft. Lauderdale this summer and having spent lots of time in this area over the years, here is what the Smith Family would do now: If we were living between Ft. Lauderdale and the Space Coast, we would seal off the house (board windows, turn off water, gas, electricity, etc.) then leave -- not wait for official evacuation orders. I would probably spend the Labor Day weekend in Atlanta (safely inland). I realize this would be at great cost but it would put my family out of harm's way.

That stated, please follow local orders and suggestions. Awaiting those, I urge you to consider the following:
  • If you use a portable generator, make sure to place it outside well away from any air intakes. 
  • An automobile power inverter is very handy for charging your cell phone and laptop. 
  • Prepare for evacuation now if you live within in a coastal county. Obtain paper road maps. 
  • Very good chance your electric can opener will not work in a hurricane (the power will fail). Make sure you have plenty of canned goods (they don't spoil) and have manual can openers and bottle openers. 
  • Get extra cash from the ATM. Credit cards will not work without power. More cash is better. Do it before the ATM's run out.
  • Keep your automobile filled with fuel. The Twitter account, @GasBuddyGuywill tell you where you can find stations with fuel. 
  • Taping windows does nothing. Board them up or use storm shutters. 
  • Make provisions for elderly or infirm friends/relatives NOW!
For even more information, my Twitter account is @usweatherexpert. I will again update about Dorian, but if you haven't begun preparations, start now!

Excellent advice.

10a. Bad news. The eye is reappearing which is usually a sign of strengthening.

10:16a. That didn't take long. The eye is now well-defined. 

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