Hurricane Dorian Has a New Path

Experts predict that Florida won't get a direct hit
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 31, 2019 11:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – Hurricane Dorian bore down on the Bahamas as a fierce Category 4 storm Saturday, with new projections showing it curving upward enough to potentially spare Florida a direct hit but still threatening parts of the Southeast US with powerful winds and rising ocean water that causes what can be deadly flooding, the AP reports. Dorian is packing 150 mph winds, and forecasters predict it will flirt with top-of-the-scale Category 5 wind speeds of 155 mph later in the day as it menaces the Bahamas. The storm is expected to hit the northwestern part of the islands Sunday. Over two or three days, it could dump as much as 4 feet of rain, unleash high winds, and whip up an abnormal rise in sea level called storm surge, according to private meteorologist Ryan Maue and some of the most reliable computer models.

After walloping the islands, forecasters said the ever-strengthening Dorian is expected to dance up the Southeast coastline, staying just off Florida's shore and skirting the coast of Georgia, with the possibility of landfall still a threat Wednesday. It will continue up to South Carolina early Thursday. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said the risk of strong winds and rising water will increase along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts by the middle of next week. The center also stressed that Dorian could still hit Florida. But after days of a forecast that put the state and President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in the center of expected landfalls, the changes are significant. "It's going to be pretty scary because you're going to have this gigantic hurricane sitting off the coast of Florida and it's not going to move," Maue said. But with the storm slowing and likely to turn north, he added: "The worst effects of a direct landfall are not in the forecast."

(Read more hurricane stories.)

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