There are more models now indicating that Hurricane Dorian's turn turn could occur near the east coast of Florida instead of well inland.
High resolution satellite images show that Dorian's cloud pattern has become much better organized, with a distinct eye surrounded by a ring of very deep convection and fair upper-level outflow. Satellite intensity estimates, both objectivs from CIMMS and subjective from TAFB and SAB, are in good agreement with the 100-kt winds recently measured by a reconnaissance aircraft. This is the intensity assigned to Dorian in this advisory. Since the upper-level environment is already becoming more favorable for intensification and Dorian will be over high sea surface temperatures, the NHC forecast calls for additional intensification. Dorian is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane as it moves through the northwestern Bahamas and near the east coast of the Florida peninsula in about 2 to 4 days. The ridge over the western Atlantic appears to be already building to the north of Dorian and is beginning to force the hurricane on a more west-northwest track or 300 degrees at 9 kt. The ridge is forecast to build even more and steer Dorian on a westward track for the next 3 to 4 days. However, the steering currents will then weaken, and this should result in a decrease in the hurricane's forward speed. Given the collapse of the steering currents, the track forecast by the end of the forecast period is highly uncertain, and any small deviation in the track could bring the core of the powerful hurricane well inland over the Florida, keep it near the coast, or offshore. The models have not been very consistent from run to run in terms of the timing of the northward turn, but there are more models now indicating that the turn could occur near the east coast of Florida instead of well inland. Given this latest change, the NHC forecast has been shifted just a little to the right at this time, but users should be prepared for additional adjustements to the left or right depending on future model trends. Based on the new forecast, a hurricane warning has been issued for poertions of the northwest Bahamas. However, given the slower forecast speed of Dorian, it is too soon to issue and watches for the Florida coast at this time. Key Messages: 1. Life-threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane-force winds are likely in portions of the northwestern Bahamas, where a hurricane warning is in effect. Residents should execute their hurricane plan and listen to advice given by local emergency officials. 2. Life-threatening storm surge and devastating hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the Florida east coast by early next week, but since Dorian is forecast to slow down and turn northward near the coast, it is too soon to determine when or where the highest surge and winds will occur. Residents should have their hurricane plan in place, know if they are in a hurricane evacuation zone, and listen to advice given by local emergency officials. 3. A prolonged period of storm surge, high winds and rainfall is possible in portions of Florida into next week, including the possibility of hurricane-force winds over inland portions of the Florida peninsula. 4. Heavy rains, capable of life-threatening flash floods, are expected over portions of the Bahamas and coastal sections of the southeastern United States this weekend through much of next week.