Dorian threat to ENC increases

Published 10:27 am Monday, September 2, 2019

Based on the latest track, the threat for significant direct impacts from Hurricane Dorian continues to increase for eastern North Carolina, especially along the coast, according to the National Weather Service Morehead City/Newport meteorologists.

Dorian has almost come to a standstill over eastern Grand Bahama Island, as the mid-tropospheric high to the north of the hurricane that had been steering Dorian westward collapsed, according to the National Hurricane Center. However, a weakness in this ridge is expected to cause Dorian to move northwestward to northward in a couple of days, then northeastward toward the Carolina coast.

“Both the European and GSF model runs over the past 12–18 hours have begun to tighten, and trend west, back towards the Carolina coast. The continuation of this trend could result in significant changes to the expected impacts for our area,” Chris Newkirk, operations chief of fire/emergency management for Beaufort County Emergency Services, wrote in Monday morning’s update.

Dorian’s impact may be felt in eastern North Carolina as early as Wednesday night.

Dorian is expected to weaken over the next several days, but NWS-Morehead City/Newport encouraged residents not to focus on the category of the storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, as it only describes wind. Dorian is expected to remain a dangerous major hurricane.

“Don’t just focus on the path, Dorian is likely to increase in size as the storm moves northward.  Remember, impacts occur well away from the center,” an email from NWS-Morehead City/Newport reads.

The NWS update on Monday morning describes the potential for prolonged periods of rainfall that could cause localized flooding from Wednesday through Friday, along with life-threatening storm surge and wind/wind damage, particularly along the coast.

Newkirk encouraged all residents to complete their preparations for the storm.

“Please do not wait to take the necessary actions to ensure that your families, friends and properties remain safe from this ever changing storm,” Newkirk wrote.