Hurricane Dorian and its Potential Impact on Delmarva
Hurricane Dorian is now a category 2 storm with winds of 110 mph and gusts to 130 mph. It’s finally moving north and will be climbing the east coast over the next several days.
Dorian is expected to continue lifting north this week as it rides just off the the coast of Florida. Hurricane Warnings remain in effect across parts of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolina coasts as the storm is expected to approach those states Wednesday. Models continue to show the storm staying over the water until it reaches the Outer Banks of North Carolina Thursday. This is when it could make landfall depending on the exact track. So Hurricane Watches have been posted across North Carolina ahead of the storm while Tropical Storm Watches have been issued as far north as Chincoteage Island. By Friday, a category 1 hurricane will likely be off the coast of Delmarva. Here is what we can expect:
Forecast models are still not in 100% agreement when it comes to Dorian, but the overall forecast keeps the storm mostly offshore. This is good news. It does appear that the storm will be close enough to bring some rain, breezy winds (especially at the coast), coastal flooding, and some beach erosion to Delmarva.
The two big models we use to forecast are posted below (EURO on the left and GFS on the right), and they both show some impacts here on Delmarva. Each model shows the storm just offshore on Friday. The GFS is a bit faster and has the storm a bit closer, bringing us more rain and stronger winds.
The EURO shows potential for 40+ mph wind gusts at the coast while the GFS shows 50-60 mph.
The EURO shows less than an inch of rain for most locations, except for the coast, and the GFS brings several inches of rain to the area, but mainly at the immediate coast.
Right now we’re leaning more towards the EURO model which shows less of an impact. Either way, it looks like coastal flooding and gusty winds will be the biggest concern with Dorian here on Delmarva. Most forecast models keep Dorian far enough offshore where the heaviest rain and most intense wind will be. Confidence is growing that Delmarva will start to feel the impacts of Dorian starting Thursday with some possible rain, breezy winds, and some coastal flooding. Early Friday will have the best chance for rain and gusty winds, with the worst of the storm being felt at the immediate coast. The storm then looks to head out to sea fairly quickly, leaving us a pretty nice weekend in its wake.
BIG TAKEAWAY: Expect some unsettled weather for the end of the week with breezy winds inland and windy conditions at the coast, plus coastal flooding in our typical low lying areas. It doesn’t look like this will be a major problem for us here on the shore, but one change in the path can change the forecast. The 47 ABC Storm Team will keep you updated throughout the week. Stay tuned.