Dorian Enters Caribbean – Uncertainty Remains

by Ryan Hodges | Aug 27, 2019

As of August 27 at 8:00 am EST, Tropical Storm Dorian is moving through the Winward islands. Tropical Storm Dorian formed in the Atlantic on Saturday, August 25. Early forecasts for Dorian indicated it would get stronger as it entered the Caribbean but fizzle out before reaching the U.S. mainland. However, after subsequent simulations of the ensemble models with updated atmospheric conditions, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) is now forecasting that Dorian could maintain tropical storm force strength as it approaches the U.S. coast.

In general, the track forecast models are in agreement that Dorian should take a northwest turn early Wednesday and pass through the Caribbean via Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, then pass over the Bahamas and potentially make a U.S. landfall on the east coast of Florida. At this point, however, there is high uncertainty regarding which portion of the east coast Dorian could affect as conditions continue to evolve. The potential strength of Dorian if it reaches the U.S. coast is also highly uncertain at this time. Currently, there is an abundance of dry air around Dorian which actually caused sustained winds to decrease by 10 mph overnight, but this trend will likely subside over the next 12 hours enabling Dorian to regain some strength. Additional uncertainty comes from how much land Dorian will traverse as it moves through the Caribbean, and a large area of wind shear that will greet Dorian as it enters the Bahamas. The Risk team will continue to monitor Dorian and provide additional updates as conditions change and the storm evolves.