Major Hurricane Dorian became a “catastrophic” category 5 storm Sunday morning, according to the 8 am update from the National Hurricane Center.
The National Hurricane Center also made a slight westward adjustment in their forecast track for Major Hurricane Dorian overnight. This necessitated the issuance of a Tropical Storm Warning for residents along Florida’s Treasure Coast from Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet.
A Tropical Storm Watch was also issued for areas north of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach.
The last line of Senior Hurricane Specialist Richard Pasch’s forecast notes Sunday morning was noteworthy for Floridian’s along the Atlantic Coast.
“Although the official track forecast does not show landfall, users should not focus on the exact track since a Florida landfall is still a distinct possibility.”
Major Hurricane Dorian is now expected to slow down before it turns to the northwest on Tuesday. Forecast Pasch went on to say in his key messages that life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are “still possible” along portions of Florida’s east coast by the middle part of the week.
You can read all of the official information from the National Hurricane Center’s 5 am Sunday advisory in the section below.
A significant change in the weather pattern that is steering Dorian is still likely to keep the worst of the hurricane just offshore the Florida east coast. However, the hurricane is large enough, strong enough, and could move close enough to spread tropical storm force winds across sections of the Treasure Coast.
Tropical storm force winds extend about 105 miles from the center, and forecasters say that could expand. For these reasons, Tropical Storm Watches have been issued from Deerfield Beach in Broward county to Sebastien Inlet near the Brevard/Indian River county line. High surf and rip currents are expected this weekend into early next week.
A ridge of high pressure that is steering the Dorian is forecast to keep pushing it westward this weekend toward the northwestern Bahamas. The ridge; however, is now forecast to be much weaker by Monday, which will cause it to slow or stall just offshore of Florida Monday. A turn toward the north is likely Tuesday and Wednesday, in the general direction of the Carolinas.
Tropical storm force wind gusts could also be experienced farther south near Miami Monday night or Tuesday, then they are likely to gradually spread north toward Daytona Beach and the First Coast Tuesday or Wednesday. Hurricane force wind gusts to 75 mph can not be ruled out immediately along the Treasure or Space Coasts, although that is less likely to occur at this point.
Coastal flooding is likely, regardless of how close Dorian gets to the state. The new moon is causing high astronomical tides during the times of high tide. The National Weather Service in Jacksonville has issued Coastal Flood Advisories. Tidal departures may reach 1 to 2 feet above normal this weekend.
NOAA’s Weather Prediction Center says 2 to 5 inches of rain may still fall along portions of the east coast, but these amounts may change depending on exactly how close the storm gets.