Dorian could become major storm, sending Florida residents scrambling for supplies


Storm season has officially arrived here in the United States, as Hurricane Dorian continues to creep ever closer to the US mainland.

Luckily, Dorian’s path spared much of the Caribbean as the storm slid past the popular and well-populated tourist destination without a direct landfall.  This means, however, that instead of weakening the hurricane over the higher elevations and dry land of these island chain, the hurricane will likely pick up strength as it regroups over the warm waters off the coast of the continental US.

Floridians are already preparing for the worst.

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People in Florida were starting to get ready for a possible Labor Day weekend strike, with county governments along Florida’s east-central coast distributing sandbags and many residents rushing to warehouse retailers to load up on water, canned food and emergency supplies.

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“All Floridians on the East Coast should have 7 days of supplies, prepare their homes & follow the track closely,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a tweet. Later Wednesday, he declared a state of emergency for the counties in the storm’s path.

There are serious concerns about the strength of the storm as it approaches the Sunshine State.

Now that Dorian is moving beyond the Greater Antilles, any land-based impediment to its strengthening is fast receding. Dorian is already more organized than expected at this point, and it is now in a position to take advantage of classic atmospheric and oceanic conditions that will support several days of strengthening and perhaps one or more rounds of rapid intensification. Wind shear is expected to be mostly light to moderate (5-10 knots) till at least Saturday, and mid-level relative humidity will be climbing from around 45% to around 60%. What’s more, Dorian will be passing over very warm water, with sea surface temperatures of around 29-30°C (84-86°F) running about 0.5°C (1.0°F) warmer than average.

Dorian is expected to make landfall sometime between Sunday and Monday’s Labor Day Holiday, with forecasters believing that the storm could come ashore anywhere between the southern tip of Florida to the beaches of South Carolina.

 

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