BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - It’s the first full week of September and the big story is Hurricane Dorian. It’s producing catastrophic damage in the Bahamas tonight, with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph and higher gusts. This is the most powerful hurricane on record to ever make landfall in the Bahamas. With respect to wind speeds, the hurricane is tied second with Gilbert, Wilma, and the Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 as all time strongest in the Atlantic Basin.
At the time of this update, Dorian was continuing to produce maximum sustained winds of 185 mph, with wind gusts nearing 220 mph. That is equivalent to winds associated with major EF-4 tornadoes. You can see the forecast track brings this thing very close to Florida and it is still possible a landfall could happen this week! The powerful category five hurricane is expected to slow as it nears the the East Coast of Florida and begin a turn to the northwest late tomorrow. This is going to be an extremely close call over the next 24 to 48 hours as we wait for the turn to happen. Residents along the east coast of Florida should prepare for the worst just in case the system drifts a bit further west. Hurricane Warnings have been issued along the Florida East Coast.
Dorian will have no major impacts on the state of Alabama or the Gulf Coast. We will remain on the dry side of the system with no rain expected for several days. We do have a few isolated showers and storms we are tracking this evening but once this activity dissipates most areas will remain dry throughout the week. Plan on some very hot afternoons for Labor Day through Wednesday and then a cooler northerly flow will take over as Dorian passes to our east. Highs will reach the mid 90s through Wednesday and then plan highs closer to 90º by the weekend. We will enjoy some pleasant evenings and early mornings, especially later in the week, as overnight temperatures tumble into the 50s and low 60s. The tropics are very active right now with multiple disturbances being monitored. Of-course the main concern at the moment, with respect to U.S. impacts, is Dorian.
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