Unpredictable Dorian Will Likely Miss Florida, Still Threatens Southeastern US

Experts say the track has shifted yet again for Hurricane Dorian.

According to a Saturday morning report from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), a "notable change" to the storm's path had occurred overnight. Forecasters said a high-pressure system building over the Atlantic Ocean could push Dorian a little more to the north, bypassing Florida altogether, contrary to earlier predictions.

But by Saturday afternoon, experts said Dorian's track had shifted yet again, this time slightly east, and was forecast to sail northward near Florida's Eastern coast on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"The track can still shift, either closer to Florida or farther away and small fluctuations can be significant," Sarah Gorman, a representative from The Weather Company, told Newsweek in an email Saturday afternoon.

Hurricane Dorian 2pm 8/31
As of 2 p.m. EDT Saturday, The Weather Company's spaghetti model forecast placed Dorian’s track shifting north and east, staying parallel to the Florida coast on Tuesday and Wednesday. Image courtesy of The Weather Company

Additionally, the latest NHC report, time-stamped 2:00 EDT, said "interests in Southern and Central Florida should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian."

The report noted that watches may be required for portions of Eastern Florida later on Saturday.

Dorian was centered 280 miles (450 kilometers) east of the Northwestern Bahamas and about 545 miles (880 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach, Florida, early on Saturday.

On the track predicted by the NHC, Dorian will move over the Atlantic to the north of the Southeastern and Central Bahamas on Saturday get near or over the Northwestern Bahamas on Sunday and approach the coast of Florida late Monday night or early Tuesday.

It detailed that hurricane conditions are expected in the hurricane warning area across the northwestern Bahamas by Sunday, with tropical storm winds beginning Saturday night. These conditions may include a life-threatening storm surge in Great Abaco and Grand Bahama.

Dorian is also expected to produce heavy rainfall in the Bahamas this weekend and into the middle of next week, according to the NHC. The northwestern Bahamas may experience 10 to 15 inches, with isolated areas receiving as much as 25 inches of water, and the Central Bahamas may see 2 to 4 inches, isolated 6 inches.

Here are the Key Messages for 8/31 11 AM EDT/AST for Hurricane #Dorian. The next intermediate advisory is at 2 pm, followed by a complete advisory at 5 pm. pic.twitter.com/YasuxEDbR3

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) August 31, 2019

The rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods, the NHC warned.

The NHC's 11 a.m. advisory noted that the risk of strong winds and storm surge would increase along the coast of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina during the middle of next week.

In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, now a Cat. 4 storm, tracks towards the Florida coast taken at 13:40Z August 31, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean.
In this NOAA GOES-East satellite handout image, Hurricane Dorian, now a Cat. 4 storm, tracks towards the Florida coast taken at 13:40 on August 31, 2019 in the Atlantic Ocean. Photo by NOAA via Getty Images