Slow-moving Hurricane Dorian, which became an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 hurricane Friday, is now expected to veer north off the east coast of Florida, prompting forecasters to suggest a possible landfall near the Georgia-South Carolina state line.
However, the South Carolina Climate Office says some models suggest up to 18 inches in the southern counties of Barnwell east to Charleston, with coastal winds of 30 to 50 mph.
Forecasters are also predicting tide impacts in the Carolinas. On Friday morning, a flood advisory was put in effect for coastal counties in both states.
“Minor flooding along coastal areas is likely the next couple days during evening high tide. In addition, enhanced rip current risks and rougher surf will likely develop beginning late Saturday, associated with swell from Dorian,” the National Weather Service advisory said.
Dorian’s impact will likely linger for days.
“Elevated seas and unsettled weather is shaping up for a good part of next week, as tropical moisture is drawn into the Carolinas by Dorian,” the National Weather Service said Friday morning.
“More widespread rainfall from Dorian should arrive later next week, possibly towards next weekend, depending on eventual track and intensity of Dorian.”
Hurricane Dorian’s path
The latest track shows the storm is likely to turn north just off Florida, and could follow the coast up to the Carolinas. All of South Carolina and part of North Carolina were added Saturday to the “probably path” of the storm’s center.
Dorian had sustained winds of 150 mph Saturday, and was moving northwest at 8 to 12 mph. A more defined eye at the center of the storm was seen forming midday Friday, proving the hurricane is becoming “better organized,” center officials said.
Hurricane-force winds are extending out up to 25 miles from the storm’s center, and tropical storm force winds can be felt 105 miles away, forecasters say.
“Dorian is likely to remain an extremely dangerous hurricane while it moves near the northwestern Bahamas and approaches the Florida peninsula through the weekend,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
A growing concern, forecasters say, is that the storm’s slow motion means some areas of Florida could face “an increasing risk of a prolonged, drawn-out event of strong winds, dangerous storm surge, and heavy rainfall,” the center says.
Rain is likely every day next week across the Carolinas, with chances increasing mid to late next week as the storm’s remnants roll northwest, the National Weather Service says.