BLOG: Dorian moves away from North Carolina coast

Friday night weather forecast: 11pm

UPDATE 4:00 PM SATURDAY, SEPT 7

HAPPENING NOW: Governor Cooper updates the public on Hurricane Dorian.

Posted by WBTV News on Saturday, September 7, 2019

UPDATE 3:00 PM FRIDAY, SEPT 6

Are you ready for the weekend, and for Dorian to be gone? Apparently, Dorian is just as ready to leave, as we are for him to leave.

It is still a cat 1 storm but it is moving (actually flying) to the NE at 21mph.

Remember how the storm just sat over the northern Bahamas for almost two days? Well, now that it is done with land masses, it has really picked up the pace. -And no one is complaining!

The weekend looks pretty good for the Carolinas. Definitely much quieter than the past week.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE 11:30 AM FRIDAY, SEPT. 6

While Dorian’s outer bands are still stretching out over coastal North Carolina, the eye of the Category 1 hurricane is moving east farther into the Atlantic. As of 11 a.m. Friday, Dorian is about 50 miles NE of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, and is moving toward the northeast near 17 mph. It’s expected to maintain this general motion with an increase in forward speed is expected through Saturday night.

Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph with higher gusts.

Hurricane-force conditions will quickly subside across the coastal Carolinas as we go into Friday afternoon, however, inland communities could experience a rise in water levels due to heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours that results in river flooding through the weekend.

On the forecast track, the center of Dorian will move away from the coast of North Carolina during the next several hours. The center should move to the southeast of extreme southeastern New England tonight and Saturday morning, and then across Nova Scotia late Saturday or Saturday night.

UPDATE 9:30 AM FRIDAY, SEPT. 6

UPDATE 6 A.M. FRIDAY, SEPT. 6

Dorian remains a strong storm even as maximum sustained wind speeds drop below 100 mph. Currently, the Category 1 is located less than 100 miles southwest of Cape Hatteras.

Moving at NE at 14 mph, Dorian should move farther from the North Carolina coast throughout the morning. The outer bands should move offshore by noon. Dorian is forecast to become a post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds by Saturday night as it approaches Nova Scotia.

Along with the gusty winds, heavy rain continues to drench the region. Radar estimates indicate more than 8” inches of rainfall near Jacksonville, NC over the past 12 hours with another 5-7” inches expected today before the storm moves out.

Therefore, flash flooding is occurring and will continue to become more widespread across the eastern Carolinas and far southeast Virginia over the next few hours as heavy rain persists.

UPDATE 11 P.M. THURSDAY. SEPT. 5

The 11pm Dorian update clocks 100mph winds as it moves NE at 13mph. The storm is still a cat 2 but at least a little weaker. Still, it will be a very long night for our friends at the beach. The rain and wind haven’t let up – and won’t until the storm moves out tomorrow.

Here’s a little more good news. The latest track keeps Dorian a little farther off shore around Morehead City early on Friday morning. They will still have a rough go of it for a few hours but if they don’t have to endure the eyewall, with the strongest winds, that will be to their benefit.

One more thing… The storm is still headed for Hatteras but instead of a cat 2, it should be a cat 1. Again, it should still be taken seriously, but we will take every positive sign.

Dorian will be out of here by Friday afternoon and the weekend looks much quieter.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 8 P.M. THURSDAY. SEPT. 5

The storm we’ve waited more than a week for now is making its presence known along the Carolina beaches. The center of the storm is moving away from SC and along the NC coast. The center of the storm is within about 30mi off Cape Fear, which is at the bottom tip of Bald Head Island. Frying Pan Shoals just reported a peak gust of 70 mph. (Just south of Bald Head Island – you may recognize the Frying Pan Shoals for its American flag webcam).

While it doesn’t seem likely that Dorian will make landfall there, Morehead City looks to be the next stop for the storm - but not before lashing the NC beaches all night. Heavy rain, gusty winds and storm surge are still going to be a problem tonight. Early on Friday morning, the storm should make landfall around Morehead City as a cat 2.

After heavy rain all day, eastern NC is already seeing flooding conditions in spots. The rain won’t let up until morning in many places. By Friday afternoon, Dorian will be heading back out over open water.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 5 P.M. THURSDAY, SEPT. 5

The latest track is almost exactly the same as it has been for the past two days. The storm we have talked about for so long is here and has been bringing heavy rain and high winds to eastern NC all day.

There is a Hurricane Warning in effect for the coast and a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for areas as far inland as the Triangle in NC and Columbia, SC. There have been Tornado Warnings all day.

Conditions have been bad for our beaches since this morning. However, the winds will only pick through the evening and into the night. The center of the storm will be close to the Wilmington area late this evening and into the night. It could potentially make landfall close to Morehead City late tonight or early Friday morning.

The storm will be completely out of the picture by this time tomorrow.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 2 P.M. THURSDAY, SEPT. 5

The latest stats on Dorian have the storm about 25 miles off the SC coast of McClellanville. It is moving NE at 8mph. Rain and wind have already been pounding the Carolina coasts all day.

There have been several tornado warnings, with some storms producing tornadoes. Several have caused damage and a few have even been caught on cell phone video. That can and frequently does happen ahead of landfalling hurricanes.

There is a Tornado Watch in effect for most of eastern NC and part of coastal SC until 7pm.

The storm is still on the same track as it has been for about two days now. Dangerous storm surge, heavy rain and gusty winds are likely from this afternoon through the night along the NC and SC beaches.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 11 A.M. Thursday, Sept. 5

Dorian is moving toward the north-northeast near 8 mph . A turn toward the northeast is anticipated by tonight, and a northeastward motion at a faster forward speed is forecast on Friday.

On the forecast track, the center of Dorian will continue to move close to the coast of South Carolina today, and then move near or over the coast of North Carolina tonight and Friday.

Dorian continues to fluctuate between a Category 2 and Category 3 hurricane as sustained winds speeds continue to range between 110 and 115 mph. Despite the seemingly significant differences, impacts from a potentially land-falling hurricane are and will be catastrophic for coastal areas impacted by the storm no matter the specific sustained wind speeds.

Despite the fluctuation in sustained wind speeds, Dorian remains capable of producing catastrophic damage as it travels north over the next 24 hours.

Tropical storm conditions are spreading along the coast of North Carolina, and hurricane conditions are expected to begin later today. Dorian is expected to produce the 6 to 15 inches rainfall through Friday along the Carolina coast.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the 2 to 7 feet above ground, if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.

Also, a few tornadoes are possible through this afternoon near the coastal South and North Carolina border area. This threat will expand northeastward across the rest of eastern North Carolina during the afternoon and continue into tonight.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey

UPDATE: 9 A.M. Thursday, Sept. 5

The eye of Dorian is now moving northeast at 8 mph, but remains eerily close to the South Carolina coast, approximately 60 miles south of Charleston. A turn toward the northeast is anticipated by tonight, and a northeastward motion at a faster forward speed is forecast on Friday.

On the forecast track, Dorian will move near or over the coast of North Carolina tonight and Friday.

Tropical storm conditions are spreading along the coast of North Carolina, and hurricane conditions are expected to begin later today. Dorian is expected to produce the 6 to 15 inches rainfall through Friday along the Carolina coast.

The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the 2 to 7 feet above ground, if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide.

Also, a few tornadoes are possible through this afternoon near the coastal South and North Carolina border area.

This threat will expand northeastward across the rest of eastern North Carolina during the afternoon and continue into tonight.

UPDATE: 6 A.M. Thursday, Sept. 5

Hurricane Dorian will continue to move over the coastal waters of the Carolinas through tonight as a major hurricane. As of Thursday morning, the eye of Hurricane Dorian was located 90 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina. Dorian is moving toward the north near 7 mph.

Late Wednesday evening, Dorian intensified into a major hurricane again, and is currently a Category 3 storm producing sustained winds near 115 mph.

A turn to the north-northeast is anticipated today, with a turn toward the northeast tonight. A northeastward motion at a faster forward speed is forecast on Friday. On the forecast track, the center of Dorian will continue to approach the coast of South Carolina this morning, move near or over the coast of South Carolina later today, and then move near or over the coast of North Carolina tonight and Friday.

Hurricane warnings, storm surge warnings and flash flood watches are now in affect from Wilmington to Elizabeth City as the North Carolina coast braces for a potential landfall.

UPDATE: 11 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4

The 11pm update has brought the biggest change we’ve seen in hours! The storm is back to category 3 status, with winds of 115mph. A category 3 is a major hurricane.

From here, the storm is expected to remain that strong all the way along the South Carolina coast. That will mean more wind, rain and higher storm surge for places like Charleston. (It can get flooding on a regular rainy day!)

Next up – North Carolina beaches. The current track has Dorian between a category 2 and 3 as it approaches Bald Head Island (the part that sticks out south of Wilmington).

It also looks to be moving even closer to land – within a few miles.

It does look to weaken a tad and be a category 2 by the time it moves in on Morehead City. Unfortunately, it also has the storm moving even farther inland around the beach town.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4

Dorian continues to inch closer and the forecast track remains unchanged. Winds are being clocked at 110mph. A category 3 hurricane starts at 111mph, so we are on the verge of major hurricane status.

The official NHC forecast track has been consistent for more than a day. Our NC and SC beaches are already seeing the outer bands – with gusty winds and heavy rain. Things will only go downhill.

The next advisory will come out at 11pm.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4

The 5pm update shows that Dorian has strengthened a little. Winds went from 105 to 110mph. Other than that, the actual track hasn’t changed much – in more than a day.

Here are some of the potential impacts from Dorian:

This looks to be a mainly coastal storm as far as winds are concerned. The SC beaches could be pounded by hurricane force winds. NC beaches could see even stronger winds since they will be closer to the center of the storm. All of the NC and SC beaches are under a Hurricane Warning.

Rainfall will definitely be an issue at the beaches - but also inland. Eastern NC could see 6-12” of rain. Some spots could get up to 15”. There is a Tropical Storm Warning in effect as far west as Columbia and the Triangle.

A storm surge of 4-7’ will be possible along both NC ad SC beaches. From Isle of Palms to Myrtle Beach could see 5-8’ storm surge.

All NC and SC beaches are under a Hurricane Warning as winds and rain approach.
All NC and SC beaches are under a Hurricane Warning as winds and rain approach.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4

The 2 p.m. update brings Dorian just east of Jacksonville, FL. It is still a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds. Fortunately, it is also moving to the NNW at 9 mph. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for part of Florida… through GA, SC and NC.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for areas inland – as far west as the Triangle.

Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings are in place along the entire NC and SC coasts as Dorian approaches.
Hurricane and Tropical Storm Warnings are in place along the entire NC and SC coasts as Dorian approaches.

There haven’t been any major changes in the track. It should remain a cat 2 close to the SC coast during the day on Thursday and then the NC coast Thursday evening, into Friday. There is still the possibility of the storm making landfall.

Even if it doesn’t, it will be close enough to bring heavy rain, strong wind and storm surge. As it has for almost 24 hours now, the track seems to take the storm close to Bald Head Island Thursday evening/ night. It could make landfall close to Morehead City by Friday morning.

Regardless of whether Dorian actually makes landfall, impacts will still be great. Some places closer to the coast could get a foot of rain. The storm surge could be 5-8’ in SC and 4-7’ in NC. Winds could be close to hurricane force at the coast and tropical storm force inland.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4

The National Hurricane Center says Dorian is producing sustained winds near 105 mph while moving a faster pace of about 9 mph. Dorian’s center is moving close to the Florida-Georgia state line. Hurricane warnings now extended northeastward along the North Carolina coast as Dorian continues its northwestward movement.

Dorian is moving around the western end of the subtropical ridge, and it should recurve northward and northeastward into the mid-latitude westerlies during the next 24-48 hour. This motion should bring the center of Dorian near or over the coast of North Carolina during the 36-48 hour period.

Hurricane warnings now extended northeastward along the NC coast as Dorian continues its northwestward movement.
Hurricane warnings now extended northeastward along the NC coast as Dorian continues its northwestward movement.

After that time, the cyclone is forecast to accelerate northeastward into the Atlantic toward the Canadian Maritimes, with a quick northeastward motion continuing for the remainder of the cyclone’s life.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey

UPDATE: 6 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4

A weakening but widening Hurricane Dorian continues to pick up forward motion as it moves northwest near 8 mph alongside the Florida and Georgia coasts today. Currently, the Category 2 hurricane is producing sustained winds near 105 mph with higher gusts.

Dorian’s eye has become broad and less well-defined over the past several hours. The hurricane is still producing some healthy bands of deep convection that are causing winds of at least tropical storm force along portions of the northeast coast of Florida.

A turn toward the north is forecast by this evening, followed by a turn toward the north-northeast on Thursday morning.

On this track, the core of Hurricane Dorian will move dangerously close to the Florida east coast and the Georgia coast through tonight. The center of Dorian is forecast to move near or over the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina Thursday through Friday morning as Category 2 then Category 1 hurricane.

UPDATE: 11 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3

Dorian’s structure has changed significantly during the past day or so. Satellite and Doppler radar images show that the inner core has become rather broad with a large ragged eye of at least 35 miles. diameter.

Data from the Air Force Hurricane Hunters indicate that the maximum winds and minimum pressure have held steady since this afternoon, and based on that information, the maximum sustained winds remain at 110 mph, but this could be a little generous.

The aircraft data and surface observations indicate that the wind field is expanding in size with tropical-storm-force and hurricane-force winds extending up to 175 miles and 60 miles from the center, respectively.

Dorian is finally on the move again, and the latest motion estimate is NNW at 6 mph. A northwest to north motion with some increase in forward speed is expected through Wednesday, taking the core of Dorian just offshore and parallel to the east coast of Florida during that time.

This should take the core of the hurricane very near, or possibly over, the coasts of South and North Carolina on Thursday and Friday. The NHC track forecast is largely unchanged.

The hurricane is in a favorable environment of low wind shear, high moisture, and warm SSTs, and it is expected to stay in these conditions until it nears the Carolina coast. Therefore, Dorian is expected to remain about the same intensity during the next couple of days.

After that time, an increase in shear from the mid-latitude trough and drier air should cause Dorian to slowly weaken.

Therefore, even if Dorian does not make landfall, hurricane-force winds are expected to reach portions of the coast from central Florida to North Carolina.

In terms of our forecast, showers and very blustery winds can be expected in our eastern coverage area on Thursday with some scattered power outages, but from Charlotte and points west very little, if any, rain is likely.

Any wind damage also becomes highly unlikely from I-77 westward. Other than Thursday the forecast looks like early September around here with plenty of sunshine and highs in the mid and upper 80s for most of the next week.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Eric Thomas

UPDATE: 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3

There isn’t much to update with this run. The storm is still a cat 2 with 110 mph winds, moving along the east coast of Florida.

The storm will move extremely close to SC Wednesday night and Thursday before reaching NC Thursday evening into Friday morning.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3

With the latest Dorian update, the track is closer to our NC and SC beaches. The current track takes the storm within about 30 mi of Charleston during the day on Thursday. From there, it will sneak north and be close to Bald Head Island – within about 10 mi, that is. That will happen during the evening on Thursday. Later that night, there’s a good chance the storm will make landfall close to Morehead City.

Here’s the thing. Obviously, as the storm inches closer, there is a better chance for an actual landfall. However, even if the storm doesn’t actually come on shore, that doesn’t mean there won’t be problems. As of now, hurricane force winds extend out 60 mi from the center. Tropical Storm force winds go out 175 mi. Even if the storm stays just off the coast, our friends at the beach could still see hurricane force winds, heavy rain and a storm surge of 4-7”.

A Hurricane Warning is currently in effect for all of the SC beaches and several counties around the Wilmington area. The rest of the North Carolina coastal counties are under a Hurricane Watch. As far west as counties just shy of the Triangle are under a Tropical Storm Watch.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3

After spending more than a day over Grand Bahama, Dorian has decided to move on. They aren’t completely done with this storm though. People are still dealing with dangerous winds and life-threatening storm surge. However, it looks like the worst has now passed.

The storm is weaker than it was at one time. It is a Category 2 storm with winds of 110 mph. Even though that is much weaker than the Cat. 4 or 5 from the past few days, it is still a strong and dangerous storm.

As it moves back over warmer water, it should still hold its own for the next few days.

The track hasn’t changed much from the last few runs. It still looks like the storm will parallel the SC and then the NC coast. The closest pass to us will be on Thursday. We could see close to tropical storm winds from Charlotte, east.

There could also be showers around here. The mountains and foothills shouldn’t get much but our eastern counties could see a few showers.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 11 a.m. Tuesday, Sept.3

While Dorian moves northwest at a mere 2 mph, dangerous winds and life-threatening storm surge continue to impact Grand Bahama Inland. The now Category 2 hurricane is producing winds near 110 mph, but will likely regain strength as it moves into a friction-less environment over Atlantic warmer waters.

Some 105 miles east of Fort Pierce, Florida, Dorian is not expected to directly impact the Sunshine State peninsula. But, residents of coastal South and North Carolina should brace for a possible land-falling hurricane later this week.

According the National Hurricane Center, dangerous winds and storm surge will continue to affect Grand Bahama Island for several more hours.

Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian’s center. Water levels could begin to rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds.

The risk of life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds continues to increase along the coast of North Carolina. The flash flood threat will increase today and tonight along the Florida peninsula, then spread up the southeast and mid-Atlantic coast during the middle and latter part of the week.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey

UPDATE: 6 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3

For more than 18 hours, Dorian has remained stationary over Grand Bahama Island inundating the area with unprecedented storm surge, hurricane-force winds, heavy rain and flooding. The unrelenting storm is currently a Category 3 - major hurricane - producing sustained winds near 120 mph.

We expect some slow, but steady movement of Dorian later today as weak steering winds push the menacing hurricane to the north-northwest. At this point, the Florida coast should avoid any direct impact from the storm.

After Dorian clears the Florida coast Wednesday, the chances of a landfall along the Carolina coast increase going into Thursday.

According to the National Hurricane Center, devastating winds and storm surge will continue to affect Grand Bahama Island for several more hours. Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, regardless of the exact track of Dorian’s center.

As Dorian moves north, water levels could begin to rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds.

UPDATE: 11 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2

I am flabbergasted as I am sitting here watching Hurricane Dorian anchored in virtually the same spot as I was typing this 24 hours ago. It is mind-numbing. It would be one thing if Dorian was sitting out over some open water in the Atlantic, but in a horrible twist of fate, Dorian is parked over Grand Bahama Island. A once gorgeous piece of real estate with a thriving population as now endured the most intense landfalling hurricane in recorded history. Only time will tell at this point what is left of that island and the culture.

The overnight update from the National Hurricane Center continues to have the forecast track of Dorian rolling up the Carolina’s coastline all day Thursday and early Friday before exiting the Outer Banks Friday afternoon.

Hurricane conditions are expected along that entire stretch despite the fact the hurricane is expected to weaken along the way. Along with the winds, storm surges will be an issue, especially in the NC coastal communities where the center of Dorian will make its closest pass, if not a landfall. Inland flooding is also a significant threat as the typical complement of tropical rain will dump enormous amounts in some areas. It’s unlikely we’ll see the 20 – 30 inches of rain Florence brought last year, but six to eight is a good bet, and depending on the track and eventual forward speed, it could be more.

Back home closer to Charlotte, if you live west of I-77, you’ll more than likely not see a drop of rain from Dorian and only some blustery conditions Thursday. From Charlotte to the east, the winds will be stronger for several hours, possibly approaching tropical storm force (39 mph) during the afternoon and evening hours. Those winds would be strong enough to bring down some weak or diseased trees and large limbs all of which could knock out power in spots. Some showers may also reach into our eastern counties around the Pee Dee River Valley and the sandhills.

Otherwise you’ll see plenty of sunshine over the next week with warm and humid air as daytime temperatures remain in the mid and upper 80s.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

Meteorologist Eric Thomas

UPDATE: 8:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2

This update brings… no update. The northern Bahamas have been in the crosshairs of Hurricane Dorian for more than a day. Still, the storm is stalled just north of the island. The strongest winds are still pounding the northern beaches. It will remain stalled a bit longer before finally loosening its grip and heading north. It is hard to believe much will be left behind by the time that happens.

It will gradually start to move north again overnight. From there, the hurricane track forecast remains mainly unchanged.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 5:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2

Dorian is not moving – not even 1 mph any more. The storm is just sitting with part of the eyewall over Grand Bahama.

The same people who have been through more than 18 hours of this storm with winds in the cat 4-5 status, are stuck in a storm that now isn’t moving at all. It is unbelievable what these people have been thorough and continue to go through.

According to the Associated Press, at least five deaths were blamed on the storm in the Bahamas.

The islands have been pummeled with so much wind and water that authorities urged people to find floatation devices and grab hammers to break out of their attics if necessary.

The storm will pick up speed on Tuesday, as it moves parallel to the east coast of Florida. If there is any good news, it will be that it should weaken to a category 3 storm during the day on Tuesday. Still, people along the east coast of Florida are looking at a rough Tuesday.

For the Carolinas, the window will be Wednesday night and Thursday for South Carolina and Thursday for North Carolina beaches. The storm track is bringing it dangerously close to our NC beaches and it could still make landfall by the time all is said and done.

The eye will be very close to Wilmington on Thursday evening and Morehead City Thursday by about midnight.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 2:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2

This storm has literally slowed to a crawl. Winds are 150 mph and it is moving at only 1 mph. The people of Grand Bahama have endured this beating for hours now.

Even though it is technically down to a category 4 storm, I doubt they will be able to tell there’s a 10 mph difference. This storm is dangerous – with intense winds, torrential downpours and unbelievable storm surge. Your heart has to absolutely go out to anyone on that island right now.

The current track isn’t much different from the last one. The track has the storm staying just off the NC and SC coast. However, this is not to say there won’t be major issues along our beaches. There will be heavy rain, gusty winds and storm surge. This storm is still a long way away. There could still be a NC landfall. The track is dangerously close and hurricane force winds are still possible even if the storm doesn’t actually make landfall.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 11:00 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2

Dorian is currently producing sustained wind speeds near 155 mph while slowly creeping west at 1 mph. The storm has shown slight some signs of weakening as it moves closer to the Gulf Stream, however, Dorian is forecast to remain a very powerful hurricane while it moves west then north along the southeastern United States coast.

As the record-breaking hurricane moves west of the northwestern Bahamian island, a hurricane warning and a storm surge warning have been issued for a part of Florida’s east coast. The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm passing the Carolinas’ coasts by late this week as a Category 2 storm.

A prolonged period of catastrophic winds and storm surge will continue to affect Grand Bahama Island through today and tonight. Life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast and Georgia coast, regardless of the exact track of Dorian’s center. Water levels could begin to rise well in advance of the arrival of strong winds.

The risk of life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds continues to increase along the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina.

Heavy rains, capable of producing life-threatening flash floods, are expected over northern portions of the Bahamas and coastal sections of the Southeast and lower Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States into Friday.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey

UPDATE: 6:00 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2

Hurricane Dorian continues to impact the northwestern Bahamas as it slowly moves west towards the Florida peninsula. The latest forecast models indicate Dorian will make a turn to the north over the next 24 hours bringing heavy rain, tropical storm to hurricane force winds and along storm surge to the Southeastern U.S. through this week.

Residents along the South Carolina and North Carolina coasts are expected to experience the impacts from a weaker Dorian, but still should make plans for a possible landfall as National Hurricane Center forecasters place the track less than 50 miles east of Cape Hatteras.

According to the NHC, Dorian is producing sustained winds near 165 mph while moving west at 1 mph. A prolonged period of catastrophic winds and storm surge will continue to affect Grand Bahama Island through today and tonight.

Life-threatening storm surges and dangerous hurricane-force winds are expected along portions of the Florida east coast through mid-week, and storm surge and hurricane warnings are in effect. There is an increasing likelihood of strong winds and dangerous storm surge along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina later this week.

Heavy rains, capable of producing life-threatening flash floods, are expected over northern portions of the Bahamas and coastal sections of the Southeast and lower Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States into Friday.

Here at home, we won’t face any significant impacts as Dorian is set make its pass well west of the region. However, a few bands of rain along with winds near 40 mph can’t be ruled out for evening Wednesday and Thursday especially for the eastern Piedmont.

UPDATE: 11:00 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1

As of the 11:00 pm update from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Dorian remains a fierce Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 180 mph and incredible gusts well over 200 mph. Current motion is at a crawl to the West at 6 mph. Hurricane conditions are overspreading the entire island of Grand Bahama and will continue throughout most of the overnight hours.

Hurricane Dorian now holds the grim record of being tied for the strongest hurricane in history to make landfall anywhere in the Atlantic Basin. This storm has beat out other notably intense hurricanes such as Irma in 2017 (180 mph), Camille in 1969 (175 mph), and Andrew in 1992 (165 mph). Only the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 ties Dorian for strongest landfalling hurricane ever. In terms of the highest winds ever at any time, only hurricane Allen was stronger with winds recorded at 190 mph in 1980.

To put Dorian’s winds into perspective, the 185 mph winds that were reported at landfall on Sunday are equivalent to an EF-4 tornado. But rather than enduring a tornado for three, four or five minutes, these conditions are lasting over the course of hours. Unimaginable.

The forecast track is largely unchanged for the United States as the track is still projected to turn north and stay off the Florida coast, and then approach the Carolina’s coastline Thursday through early Friday before departing the Outer Banks Friday afternoon. The 11pm track shifted ever so slightly to the east which once again would mean the Outer Banks may escape a direct hit (landfall), but at this point, that is simply a technicality. With only a few miles this way or that way, hurricane conditions would be a sure bet around the coastal sections of northern SC and southern and central NC Thursday into Friday. By that time, Dorian is expected to be passing by as a Category 2 hurricane with winds around 100mph.

With all this said, the Charlotte area may not see a drop of rain from the passage of this coastal hurricane next week until the following Monday when a weak backdoor front slides through here dropping down from Virginia. However, blustery winds should be expected Thursday as Dorian makes its closest pass to Myrtle Beach Thursday evening.

Highs will be fairly steady, in the 80s

Meteorologist Eric Thomas

UPDATE: 7:00 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1

As of the 7:00pm hour, Dorian continues to thrash across the northern Bahamas wreaking total destruction in many areas across Great Abaco and now moving over Grand Bahama and toward Freeport. Maximum sustained winds remain at 185 mph with incredible gusts to 225 mph.

Hurricane Dorian now holds the grim record of being tied for the strongest hurricane in history to make landfall anywhere in the Atlantic Basin. This storm has beat out other notably intense hurricanes such as Irma in 2017 (180 mph), Camille in 1969 (175 mph), and Andrew in 1992 (165 mph). Only the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 ties Dorian for strongest landfalling hurricane ever. In terms of the highest winds ever at any time, only hurricane Allen was stronger with winds recorded at 190 mph in 1980.

Dorian is in the process of crushing the northern Bahamas this afternoon as the eye of the storm made landfall at Elbow Cay on Grand Abaco Island. Next up is Grand Bahama island, home to Freeport as the storm trudges along to the West at 7 mph. Highest sustained winds are being clocked at 185 mph with gusts to 220 mph. To put those winds into perspective, 185 mph winds are equivalent to and EF-4 tornado. But rather than enduring a tornado for three, four or five minutes, these conditions are lasting over the course of hours. Unimaginable.

The forecast track is largely unchanged for the United States as the track is still projected to turn north and stay off the Florida coast, and then approach the Carolina’s coastline Thursday through early Friday before departing the Outer Banks Friday afternoon.

As a result the Charlotte area may not see a drop of rain from the passage of this coastal hurricane next week until the following Monday when a weak backdoor front slides through here dropping down from Virginia. However, blustery winds should be expected Thursday as Dorian makes its closest pass to Myrtle Beach Thursday evening.

Highs will be fairly steady, in the 80s

Meteorologist Eric Thomas

UPDATE: 4:00 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1

Hurricane Dorian now holds the grim record of being tied for the strongest hurricane in history to make landfall anywhere in the Atlantic Basin. This storm has beat out other notably intense hurricanes such as Irma in 2017 (180 mph), Camille in 1969 (175 mph), and Andrew in 1992 (165 mph). Only the Labor Day hurricane of 1935 ties Dorian for strongest landfalling hurricane ever. In terms of the highest winds ever at any time, only hurricane Allen was stronger with winds recorded at 190 mph in 1980.

Dorian is in the process of crushing the northern Bahamas this afternoon as the eye of the storm made landfall at Elbow Cay on Grand Abaco Island. Next up is Grand Bahama island, home to Freeport, as the storm trudges along to the West at 7 mph.

Highest sustained winds are being clocked at 185 mph with gusts to 220 mph. To put those winds into perspective, 185 mph winds are equivalent to and EF-4 tornado. But rather than enduring a tornado for three, four or five minutes, these conditions are lasting over the course of hours. Unimaginable.

The forecast track is largely unchanged for the United States as the track is still projected to turn north and stay off the Florida coast - then approach the Carolina’s coastline Thursday through early Friday before departing the Outer Banks Friday afternoon.

- Meteorologist Eric Thomas

UPDATE: 11:00 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1

There’s not much more to say.

Sustained wind speeds of 180mph and a pressure of 913mb describes an unprecedented storm. The full force of it is currently being unleashed on the Abaco Islands. The next stop will be Grand Bahama tonight. It is still likely to be a category 5 story as it plows across the rest of the northern Bahamas. There may not be much left after this storm passes them.

From there, the track has veered a little to the west, taking it slightly closer to the NC/SC beaches. On one hand, it doesn’t look like the storm will be nearly as strong by the time it gets closer to us. It could still be a cat 2 though. We have seen how much damage even weak storms can cause. Another thing to keep in mind with the track is how far out the hurricane force winds extend from the center.

Right now, the storm is pretty small and compact. Hurricane force winds extend 45 miles from the center. As the storm moves north, it will weaken a little but grow larger in size. That means hurricane force winds will still likely extend out a good way. Even if the storm doesn’t technically make landfall, as close as the track is even now – that could still mean our beaches could take quite a beating. Inland flooding is always a concern with storms like this too.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 8:20 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1

I can’t imagine what people in the path of Dorian are feeling right now. The storm was just upgraded to a category 5 with winds of 160mph. The eyewall is closing in on the Bahamas as we speak. That will have a devastating effect on anything in its path.

They are looking at life-threatening hurricane force winds, torrential rain and storm surge in the Abaco Islands. The next stop will be Grand Bahama as a category 5 or at least a 4 tonight.

After that, the storm doesn’t look to weaken much as it heads closer to the coast of Florida. From there, the track looks mainly the same as the past few runs.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 6:00 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1

The latest stats on Hurricane Dorian have the storm as a strong category 4 with winds of 150mph. It is moving west at 8mph.

The storm is headed straight for Abaco and Grand Bahama and will be lashing them from today through tonight. They are facing life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and torrential rains. This storm could potentially be devastating.

From there, the storm will head toward Florida but hopefully stay just off shore. It will be close, with lots of wind and rain if nothing else. Then it will move parallel to the GA, SC and NC beaches. The official NHC track has it staying just barely off shore. That gives us hope but isn’t the all-clear signal. Even if the eyewall doesn’t go over land, our beaches are still likely looking at heavy rain and gusty winds.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

UPDATE: 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31

Hurricane Dorian still not weakening, but is veering away from Florida. As the hurricane turns north, expected to encounter wind shear before nearing the Carolina coast. Hurricane-force winds still anticipated 80-90 miles from center of the hurricane as it approaches.

UPDATE: 8:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31

Hurricane Dorian remains a powerful Category 4 hurricane, still teetering near Category 5 strength with maximum sustained winds at 150 mph and moving W at 8mph. She is currently located 335 miles east of West Palm Beach, FL and is expected to be near, but off the east coast of Florida by Tuesday morning at which point the storm will continue turning northward and heading toward the Carolina coastline by Wednesday for South Carolina and Thursday for North Carolina.

The latest NHC track brings Dorian closest to the NC coast around Wilmington Thursday morning. This exact track is still likely to change and should only be used for rough guidance at this point. Even if Dorian doesn’t officially make landfall on the east coast, the proximity of this storm can still bring hurricane conditions into the coastal regions which include hurricane force winds, dangerous storm surge and inland flooding from heavy, tropical rains.

In terms of impacts on Charlotte and surrounding regions, impacts should be minimal assuming the storms stays on the forecast course. Best chance of rain would be Wednesday late into Thursday but likely confined to our eastern counties. However, blustery winds will likely be experienced by the entire state with gale force winds toward the I-95 corridor Thursday.

Enjoy the remainder of your Labor Day Weekend as the weather pattern continues to be ideal!

Meteorologist Eric Thomas

UPDATE: 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31

Here are the latest stats on Dorian... It is a very strong category 4 storm, with winds of 150mph. If the winds get any stronger, it will be a category 5.

The storm is still headed toward the northern Bahamas. They could see over a foot of rain and category 4 strength winds. That could potentially be devastating for those islands.

The islands won't do anything to weaken the storm. As it heads toward the Florida coast, it will be a cat 4 storm. The newest NHC track keeps it a little farther off shore, meaning the state wouldn't be completely in the clear but also not in the cross hairs anymore.

From there, the storm would remain a little farther off shore and it may not directly impact the SC coast as much as it looked like it would even this morning. The bad news is that the current track has it heading closer to the Wilmington area on Thursday morning.

What does this mean for us? For one thing, the past few model runs have trended farther east. I don't think anyone would complain if that trend continued. Does it mean we should let our guard down? It does not. We will continue to monitor the situation through the weekend and the week ahead. We all know how much things can change when it comes to hurricanes.

The next NHC update will come at 5pm.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31

Latest Dorian stats…Category 4 with winds of 150mph.

The forecast track had changed a little with Dorian. It keeps the storm a little farther off the coast of Florida. Then it will head north and make landfall or at least be dangerously close to the Wilmington area by Thursday morning. After that, it slides along the NC beaches. If this eastward trend continues, this could actually be good news. We will still have wait and see what future model runs hold.

For us, the biggest impact would still likely be on Thursday. While our beaches will take the worst of the beating from the storm, we should still be ready for wind and rain this far inland. There could be pockets of heavy rain – with greater amounts farther east while maybe not much rain at all for the mountains. Winds could pick up too. No, we aren’t looking at hurricane force winds but 30-40mph winds wouldn’t be out of the question.

Of course, it is important to remember that things could still change. Look how much the track has shifted already. A lot could happen between now and the time we are looking back at the storm. It is best to be prepared now so you don’t have to run around figuring out things at the last minute.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31

The latest stats on Hurricane Dorian… Category 4 with 145 mph sustained winds. It is moving west at 12mph.

The current track takes it west and toward the Bahamas – still as a cat 4 hurricane on Sunday. That could be devastating for those islands. From there, it will continue west and maintain the cat 4 strength. Models are now indicating the storm will remain just off the east coast of Florida. That is good news if they can dodge a direct hit. Still, the can expect a lot of damaging rain and wind.

The next stop looks to be the SC coast – between Savannah and Charleston Thursday morning. Hopefully it will have weakened by then but any strength hurricane is not something any coastal town wants to see.

Most long-range models are then taking the storm up parallel the SC and NC coast. It would bring plenty of wind and rain to our beaches and could produce inland flooding – just like Michael did in 2016.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Leigh Brock

UPDATE: 11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30

The latest 11:00pm National Hurricane Center (NHC) update on Hurricane Dorian now has the storm less than 550 miles from the southeast coast of Florida moving NW at 10mph.

Maximum sustained winds have rocketed to 140 mph pushing Dorian into Category 4 Major Hurricane status. In fact their latest forecast has winds hitting 150 mph by Saturday morning.

The biggest changes in the latest track occur on Tuesday next week right around the time Dorian is forecast to be on or near the east coast of Florida. This is when the upper level winds will relax and reduce the westward push on the hurricane allowing it to begin turning to the north.

The latest official forecast now includes a sharp turn to the right (north) actually and now keeps Dorian barely off the Florida coast which would then open the door for this storm to run up the east coast and become a bigger threat to the Carolina coastlines.

Under those circumstances the Charlotte area would not see much, if any rainfall late next week, but could still be in line for some rather blustery winds. Obviously this is all around a week from now, so big changes can still occur with this thinking, stand by.

In the short term, your Labor Day weekend looks great with tons of sunshine, warm temperatures, and moderate humidity, especially Saturday.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Eric Thomas

UPDATE: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30

An 8pm update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicates that Hurricane Dorian has strengthened to an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds now near 140 mph.

The storm is less than 600 miles from the southeast coast of Florida moving WNW at 10mph.

UPDATE: 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30

The latest 5:00pm National Hurricane Center (NHC) update on Hurricane Dorian now has the storm less than 600 miles from the southeast coast of Florida moving NW at 9mph. Maximum sustained winds remained at 115mph keeping Dorian squarely pegged as a Category 3 Major Hurricane.

The biggest changes in the latest track occur on Tuesday next week right around the time Dorian is forecast to be on or near the east coast of Florida. This is when the upper level winds will relax and reduce the westward push on the hurricane allowing it to begin turning to the north. It may take a sharp turn actually and possibly keep Dorian off the Florida coast which would then open the door for this storm to run up the east coast and become a bigger threat to the Carolina coastlines.

Under those circumstances the Charlotte area would not see much, if any rainfall late next week, but could still be in line for some rather blustery winds. Obviously this is all around a week from now, so big changes can still occur with this thinking, stand by.

In the short term, your Labor Day weekend looks great with tons of sunshine, warm temperatures, and moderate humidity, especially Saturday.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.WBTV.com/hurricane and the WBTV Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Eric Thomas

UPDATE: 2:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30

Dorian is now a major hurricane and is expected to strengthen as it veers to the northwest towards the Bahamas and eventually into Florida’s east coast.

Dorian is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph. A slower west-northwestward to westward motion should begin tonight and continue into early next week. On this track, the core of Dorian should move over the Atlantic, well north of the southeastern and central Bahamas today and tomorrow.

It will be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday and be near the Florida peninsula late Monday.

Data from a reconnaissance plane indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 mph with higher gusts. Dorian is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Dorian is anticipated to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane while it moves near the northwestern Bahamas and approaches the Florida peninsula into early next week.

It is important to note that a great deal of uncertainty still exists beyond about 72 hours regarding both the track and intensification forecasts.

Model data definitely pushes Dorian westward toward Florida over the weekend, but exact details are hard to come by at this early juncture, including the question of whether the WBTV viewing area will ever have even an indirect impact late next week.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.wbtv.com/hurricane and our free WBTV First Alert Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey

UPDATE: 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30

According to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Dorian continues to intensity as the it moves to the northwest near 10 mph with sustained winds 110 mph.

A slower west-northwestward to westward motion should begin tonight and continue into early next week. On this track, the core of Dorian should move over the Atlantic well north of the southeastern and central Bahamas today and tomorrow, be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday, and be near the Florida peninsula late Monday.

Stay tuned to WBTV, wbtv.com/hurricane and our free WBTV First Alert Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey

HURRICANE DORIAN | Latest information and forecast details as the storm nears the Bahamas.

First Alert Meteorologist Jonathan Stacey breaks down Dorian's development and how forecasters expect the storm to impact the Florida peninsula based on the latest NHC advisory.

Posted by WBTV News on Friday, August 30, 2019

UPDATE: 9 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30

The National Hurricane Center reports that Hurricane Dorian has strengthened to 110 mph, a strong category two storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The storm is centered about 650 miles east-southeast of South Florida, moving northwest at 12 mph. Dorian is situated between a ridge of high pressure – the Bermuda High – and an upper-level low over the Bahamas. The storm is being steered along in a general westerly fashion between these two weather players.

Intensification has been slow but steady over the past day or so, due in part to menacing wind shear blowing atop the system from that upper-level low to the west. But that’s expected to wane a bit over time, so Dorian is forecast to become a major, category three hurricane later today. Further intensification - perhaps rapid intensification - is forecast over the weekend, to a category four storm with winds perhaps exceeding 140 mph.

The forecast track brings Dorian into south/central Florida late in the holiday weekend as a category four storm. This would be a devastating blow for communities in the storm’s path. Storm surge of six to twelve feet can be expected in coastal sections along the Florida east coast and rain of six to twelve inches, with as much as eighteen inches can be expected in much of eastern Florida early next week and the storm eventually turns north.

It is important to note that a great deal of uncertainty still exists beyond about 72 hours regarding both the track and intensification forecasts. Model data definitely pushes Dorian westward toward Florida over the weekend, but exact details are hard to come by at this early juncture, including the question of whether the WBTV viewing area will ever have even an indirect impact late next week.

Stay tuned to WBTV, www.wbtv.com/hurricane and the free WBTV First Alert Weather app for the very latest alerts and changes to the forecast.

- Meteorologist Al Conklin

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