Dorian is about to hit Florida hard. The most urgently worded hurricane update

  • photo:NOAA/NESDIS;desc:Hurricane Dorian on August 29, captured by GOES-16

    30 August 2019 - Earlier today, Dr. Marshall Shepherd, the host of The Weather Channel's Weather Geeks and a Senior Contributor to Forbes, has posted "the most urgently worded update in some time" on hurricane Dorian. Read on (the original post was reformatted for better readability).

    Urgent, urgent hurricane update (Friday 7:00 am)

    This probably going to be my most urgently worded update in some time. 2 things are happening that ramp up my worry.

    1. The best weather models that we use are starting to come into consensus
    2. It is getting closer in time for Hurricane Dorian landfall.

    The east coast of Florida, much of the state, and coastal GA/Carolinas face a major and life-threatening and sustained threat.

    The storm is projected, at this time, to make landfall as a Category 4 or higher hurricane somewhere between Melbourne and Ft. Lauderdale.

    If you need a reminder of the life-altering and devastating potential of this magnitude storm, Hurricane Michael (2018) near Panama City is an example, and this area is more densely populated. The full brunt of a hurricane (wind, storm surge, rainfall, tornadoes) will be on display.

    I have two other significant concerns. First, the storm is projected to slow significantly once it makes landfall (overnight argh) around Monday evening or early Tuesday morning. The models then show it slowly meandering up the Peninsula, which means every Part of peninsula Florida would eventually be affected.

    By Wednesday the hurricane would still be in the central Florida (Tampa to Orlando) area. From Wednesday to Friday, it then heads towards Jacksonville and the Georgia be paying attention places like Savannah and Charleston.

    Then heads up the GA/Carolina coastline (and near water again for some strengthening). This slow meandering storm will pose a significant wind and storm threat but we could also see 2 to 3 feet of rain and life-threatening flooding.

    I am trying not to use analogues because every hurricane is different but a Michael (wind+surge) + Florence (tremendous) flooding is coming to mind. I will be calling my dad today. He lives in an affected region.

    This is dire and plans need to be made. I know people in Florida tend I hope we are wrong and that some people can be a bit stubborn or say "They lived through Hurricane X".

    However, as we saw with Harvey or Michael, it is flawed logic and optimism bias to think you have lived through anomaly extreme events. Past experience is not a predictor in anomaly events.

    I truly hoping people are making those inaccurate, cliche jokes next week (actually forecasts have a high degree of accuracy people just tend to remember the occasional miss like they do a rare field goal miss in a big game by a really good kicker), but there is nothing at this point that suggests that anything is going to change.

    There will be little tweaks here and there of the models in the coming days but the uncertainty is narrowing. Again, this is guidance not Gospel.

    Dr. Marshall Shepherd is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor at the University of Georgia and the Director of the Atmospheric Sciences Program. He has a BS, MS, and PhD in Physical Meteorology from Florida State University and is a former President of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He is the host of The Weather Channel's Weather Geeks and a Senior Contributor to Forbes.,24.500,-78.589,5,internal

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    @pavelneuman Thought you might appreciate the app on-screen in this Tweet as people discuss Dorian:


  • @awolber Wow, thanks! Going to RT :)

  • @pavelneuman the models show Dorian skirting FL

  • C'est la force divine

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