Sizing Up Dorian

I have privately been tracking hurricanes for many years.  Harvey was the first hurricane I openly tracked for followers two years ago. I was amazed by the consistency of the Euro precipitation forecasts for the Houston area so I started posting and found out people were interested in it because many people in Durango are from other areas, and/or have families in affected areas. I picked up a number of followers in Texas and Florida

I think it is important first to understand what and why hurricanes exist and what they have done in the past. I have never been through Hurricane or even a tropical storm. I have experienced a tropical depression.

Hurricanes are a very normal tropical cycle that have a very definitive purpose: To redistribute energy (heat) from tropical areas to temperate regions around the globe.

Hurricanes are not consistent and we have gone through active periods and lulls. Historically the 1860’s and 1880’s were the most active period for hurricanes (since records have been kept). The 1940’s were also a very active period.

Hurricane chart

In 2017 Hurricane Irma was the first landfalling hurricane and major hurricane in Florida since Wilma in 2005. This was after a record lull – 4439 days (roughly 12 years). The previous record lull back to 1851 was 2191 days (roughly 6 years) from 1979 to 1985.

Dorian has survived so far by being a relatively small compact storm, small physically but if it stays relatively small it will pack a huge punch if it makes landfall. It certainly looks like it will develop into a  category 4 storm soon and there is no reason it couldn’t hit a category 5 before landfall (if it hits), whether or not it stays a 5 before it hits is an entirely different matter. As you see Dorian has now formed an eye is will rapidly intensify on its way to the Bahamas.


Centralized pressure is the best way to categorize a hurricane, but most people only liken each particular category to wind speed.


Below you can see the strongest Atlantic storms by pressure.



The latest update (noon) on Dorian says that Dorian is a Cat 3 with 115 mph winds, the model spread is so inconsistent I hate to post graphics at this point.

The latest Euro which most experts still view to be superior to all other models for hurricane accuracy just came out, the Euro has been very inconsistent run-to-run so far so I won’t post the graphic but it shows Dorian slowing down then turning north and staying offshore for several stays and strengthening as it heads to North Carolina.

Just as I didn’t trust the move to SW with the Euro yesterday afternoon, I don’t trust this move yet either. There are now US models indicating the SW move. Most other models show a landfall between Fort Lauderdale and Daytona then they are all split on what happens next.

Hopefully, the next 24 hours will bring more of a consensus.

It may be Sunday before I start posting the operational model runs, we will see.


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