Dorian Now in Beast Mode

August 29, 2019

I interviewed Hurricane expert Dr. Jeff Masters in December, and asked him to talk about the rash of rapidly intensifying hurricanes we’ve seen in the US.

Appropriate this week as we may be seeing this kind of event again, as Hurricane Dorian crosses bands of warm water on its way towards central Florida.

UPDATE 08/31:

UPDATE: from National Hurricane Center, Friday 08/30

CAT 6 Blog:

Dorian is in a position to take advantage of atmospheric and oceanic conditions that will support several days of strengthening, and perhaps one or more rounds of rapid intensification. For the remainder of today, intensification will likely be limited by the inner-core structure of the hurricane identified by the Hurricane Hunters. This morning, Dorian had concentric eyewalls—a tiny inner one with a diameter of just 6 miles, surrounded by a larger outer eyewall of about 30 miles in diameter. Until Dorian consolidates around one of these eyewalls, significant intensification is unlikely.

Above: GOES-16 visible satellite image of Hurricane Dorian at 11:30 am EDT August 29, 2019. A tiny 6-mile diameter eye was apparent. Image credit: NOAA/RAMMB.

Over the next three days, wind shear is expected to be light, less than 10 knots, and mid-level relative humidity will increase from around 55% to around 65%. What’s more, Dorian will be passing over very warm water, with sea surface temperatures of around 29-30°C (84-86°F), about 0.5°C (1.0°F) warmer than average.

Figure 2. Predicted wind speeds (colors) and pressure (black lines) for Dorian at 11 pm EDT Sunday, September 1, 2019, from the 6Z Thursday, August 29, 2019 run of the HWRF model. This model, one of our top three performing intensity models at long ranges last year, predicted that Dorian would make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds on the central coast of Florida. Image credit: tropicaltidbits.com.

Greg Laden’s blog:

Most of the models show Hurricane Dorian striking the Atlantic Coast of Florida, though the exact location is not something that can be predicted yet. Somewhere between Palm Coast and Miami, most likely near Melbour, Palm Bay or Port St Lucie. That’s a pretty large area.

This depends, however, on a weather system that is only now forming up north of Dorian, which would cause the storm to not to the usual pull-out where the storms go north and head in the general direction of Bogna Riva.
And, if that weather system forms, some models say its western end will weaken, and that would be an escape door Dorian might use for that northward turn.
So, there is maybe a one in ten chance Dorian will bug out before hitting Florida. There is a small possibility it will come right up to Florida and then bug out, meaning, it would scrape the coast of Florida and Georgia, or just inland, at first as a hurricane then as a tropical storm.
But most likely, Dorian is going to slam into the Atlantic coast of Florida, then move inland. After moving inland, it is very likely to then stay inland, as a major storm of some sort, dumping rain and blowing winds in inland Florida, Georgia, maybe all the way up to Maine. That should be interesting. Wet, and interesting.
How strong will Dorian be? Don’t believe the hype Major news outlets are suddenly saying that Dorian may be a Category 4 storm. Maybe. But almost every model puts Dorian squarely in the extremely dangerous major-storm Category 3 range, with just a couple of models showing it forming into a Category 4 storm. One model actually shows it becoming a Category 5 storm.




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9 Responses to “Dorian Now in Beast Mode”

  1. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Primer on hurricanes:
    – Warm water fuels them
    – Wind shear weakens them
    – Powerful ones are taller, and thus more susceptible to upper-level steering currents
    – Even those that stay offshore damage beaches that local economies rely on

    Most models show Dorian’s storm surge coming in on top of the king tide.
    Oh joy.

  2. Keith McClary Says:

    Trump cancelled his State Visit to Poland so he can go down to Mar-a-Lago and HerebyOrder Dorian to devastate elsewhere.

    • Sir Charles Says:

      Yeah! The Tramp Tower.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Did you notice this in one of the clips? “…the European Model expects a track that would strike a full frontal blow on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club…” YES!

      Let’s hope the Europeans know what they’re talking about (they nailed it on Sandy, remember)—-maybe he can go there afterwards and throw rolls of paper towels to the undocumented workers he employs so they can clean up. (And if it happens, will he still be talking afterwards about climate change being a “hoax”?)

  3. dumboldguy Says:

    Not to wish ill on anyone in FL—-I have a brother and friends who live there—-but until FL gets hammered with multiple big storms and people start believing that climate change must be dealt with NOW, we are just kicking the can down the road and guaranteeing that it will be worse in the future. Time for The Onion article again—-they nailed it.

    Average American Must Have Life Ruined By Natural Disaster Every 6 Minutes To Fear Climate Change

    EUGENE, OR—Outlining what a shift in public consciousness regarding global ecocatastrophe might require, a study published by researchers at the University of Oregon Monday found the average American must have their life destroyed by a natural disaster every six minutes in order to finally fear climate change. “According to our data, American citizens must lose their home to a flash flood, almost immediately watch a tornado ravage their hometown, and then succumb to heatstroke in 110 degree temperatures before recognizing climate change as a viable threat,” said head researcher and professor Vanessa Verrier, citing the tendency of U.S. citizens to forget about global warming roughly 10 minutes after their homes were devastated by wildfires. “Roughly seven minutes following a climate disaster, ambivalence sets in and Americans forget why these natural disasters have increased so dramatically in recent years. The good news, however, is that in the five minutes directly after losing a loved one in a hurricane, participants were much more likely to consider reducing their carbon footprint by taking public transit rather than driving.” The report estimated that the nation would have to suffer 34,000 consecutive natural disasters this month in order to garner significant support for climate change legislation.

  4. dumboldguy Says:

    PS Excellent interview with Masters—-packed with well-explained good information. WHY did you have to ruin it by NOT editing out the last few seconds of “but-but” BS at the very end. Does Masters or any other credible scientist really think that future studies going to show anything else other than that the projections are correct, and it anything, it’s going to get worse?

    After listening to him, I’m now worried that Dorian may increase to a Cat 5—-more heat in the ocean, more water in the air, etc. I certainly don’t think it’s going to diminish.

  5. rsmurf Says:

    Can I throw paper towel rolls, when moire-lactose goes down?

  6. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    Fantastic nerdy explanation of the nature of the uncertainties in Dorian’s forecast:


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