Major hurricane to bear down on Florida


There is a minimal chance of feeling tropical storm force winds in Bradenton. There is still marginal error possible as said by meteorologists. Photo credit: NHC

Noah Quillan, Editor-in-chief

“Dorian” might be a name that has been heard over the past couple days. Tropical systems such as tropical storms and hurricanes are something that most people have talked about, especially living in Florida. What many might not know is how significant this system may become. Just days ago, Dorian was a weak entity struggling to maintain organized enough to be called a tropical storm. As of Aug 28, a well-developed eyewall formed, which means that Dorian is intensifying rather quickly.

The hurricane is expected to intensify over the warm Atlantic waters during the next couple of days. With above average water temperatures, low wind-shear and little to no dry air, this system does not have much that can go against it. All of those factors are fuel for Dorian to rapidly intensify before making landfall as a major hurricane.

Coastline catastrophe- Dorian is expected to brush the east coast and head towards the SE coast of Georgia and the Carolina’s. Just days ago, models were showing a system affecting much more of Florida. Photo credit: Bay News 9.

Dorian’s timing looks to slow down a little before landfall, which means that it has more time to develop into the warm Atlantic waters. Current intensity models are forecasting a Category 4 hurricane to strike Florida’s east coast sometime on Monday, then having potential impacts to the Bradenton area Monday night into Tuesday.

“I would advise everyone in Florida to be prepared. We are in the heart of hurricane season, and we need to be ready for anything that could happen because hurricane season doesn’t end until November 30,” advised morning Bay News 9 meteorologist Juli Marquez.

This storm has a track record of being difficult to forecast by meteorologists. The trend is becoming more consistent, in that it will likely make landfall on the east coast of Florida as a major Category 4 hurricane. The challenge remains in where exactly it will go. One of the many things meteorologists look at are forecast models, such as the GFS and Euro model. These two models take into account a large number of variables and put out an outcome of what they think the storm will do. With each new model run, Dorian’s future track shifts a little, which is why it has become so difficult to pin-point where it will go.

“For a couple days it looked certain that Dorian would move through an area in the Caribbean that would keep it weak for multiple reasons. Ironically with Dorian remaining so weak, it moved erratically and reformed much farther north Aug 27. It therefore moved in a completely different direction and this made it to the Atlantic where there is very favorable conditions for intensifying. Unfortunately, there’s a large high pressure to the north of the storm so it will now start moving westward, which is why it will likely be pushed into the east coast of Florida,” explained Brian McClure, another Bay News 9 meteorologist.

The School District of Manatee County has not put out any official statements. With a large number of schools in the county being shelter-available, residents from the east coast may need a place to go, therefore, school has the potential to be cancelled for some, if not all of next week.

Despite the challenging forecast, this storm will impact Florida, likely as a major hurricane. It is too soon to predict what the exact effect will be to the Bradenton area, but residents should prepare for a hurricane regardless. Stay tuned to local news stations, the National Hurricane Center and The Weather Channel for constant updates on Hurricane Dorian as it trek’s towards Florida’s east coast.

Update: Sept 31, 5pm – graphics updated as well.

Over the past couple days, new guidance has significantly moved the track of Dorian more east, causing little to no impacts to the west coast of Florida. The forecast cone could still wobble east or west but the general thinking is that it will brush the east coast and then affect the coasts of Georgia and the Carolina’s.

There are a number of gas stations without gas in the Bradenton area as well as many stores lacking water and shelf-stable foods, meaning that people have taken Hurricane Dorian seriously. It is a catastrophic Category 4, borderline Category 5 storm.

Dorian is forecasted to stall over the northern Bahama’s, causing devastating storm surge, winds and flooding rains. The system will then make a northerly turn, though the question remains with when and where it will do that. Some models are showing that it will stay over the Atlantic waters, while others take Dorian right along the east coast, possibly making landfall.

Regardless, it appears that at this time, Bradenton will steer clear from any major impacts from the hurricane. The school district informed everyone that they are closely monitoring the storm and that no school closures have been announced.