DORIAN: Euro vs American Model

By Frank Billingsley - Chief Meteorologist

Florida is now bracing for a Major Cat 3 hurricane as Dorian is forecasted to move into the Sunshine state late Sunday or Early Monday morning with 115mph winds, and those could always be higher.

Here is the official track and timing right now -- the M means Major:

The reason for the ramp up in strength is that the hurricane will leave Puerto Rico and be over open water east of the Bahamas. There will be no land to impede growth, the wind shear is light so that won't tear it up and the water is plenty warm at 84-86 F. You can see the 29/30 Celsius numbers here:

The GFS, or American model, kept the storm just off the Florida coast with a north turn last night but has abandoned that today coming more in line with a direct strike in Florida north of Daytona Beach:

This runs the storm north toward southern Georgia, then into Alabama and up to Tennessee. The European is much farther south with a strike at West Palm Beach moving across toward Tampa:

The storm then swings through Georgia and South Carolina. For now, the NHC is favoring the American path more or less into Cape Canaveral. Both paths bear watching and either one is possible and it will be interesting to see if the European begins a northern nudge in its forecast. It's important to remember that the Forecast Cone includes ALL of the Florida Peninsula and ALL of Southeast Georgia. While it's still early in the game, this entire region will unfortunately be spending the Holiday Weekend preparing for a major storm on Labor Day.

Frank

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