Hurricane grows, impacts Hampton Roads Thursday

Published 12:05 pm Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Hurricane Dorian is now moving north-westward along the east coast of the U.S. and is growing in size, according to the 11 a.m. Tuesday update by the National Hurricane Center, but the impacts for Hampton Roads are still on track to begin Thursday evening.

Dorian is about 105 miles east of Fort Pierce, Fla., and is moving northwestward at nearly two miles an hour, with maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour.

A slightly faster motion toward the northwest or north-northwest is expected later Tuesday and into Tuesday evening. Dorian is forecasted to turn north by Wednesday evening, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast Thursday morning, according to the hurricane center.

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The hurricane will move close to the Florida east coast late Tuesday through Wednesday evening, very near the Georgia and South Carolina coasts Wednesday night and Thursday and near or over the North Carolina Coast into Thursday evening.

Data from aircraft and buoys indicate that Hurricane Dorian is growing in size, with hurricane-force winds extending outward up to 60 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 175 miles.

“Although the official forecast does not show Dorian making landfall along the Florida east coast,” the National Hurricane Center update states, “the increasing size of Dorian’s wind field along with any deviation to the left of the forecast track will bring hurricane-force winds onshore along portions of the Florida east coast.”

The highest impacts for Hampton Roads are still expected for Thursday night and Friday, according to Cody Poche, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Wakefield. Residents should expect heavy rain and wind Thursday night into Friday morning, with effects from Dorian fading Friday afternoon and into the evening.

“We have the potential to see some gusty winds into Friday afternoon, but Friday night is when the winds will be coming down,” Poche said. “Friday afternoon looks mostly dry, but the winds will still be gusty.”