UPDATE 2 PM FRIDAY: Tropical Storm Dorian weakened late Thursday night and has struggled to stay organized on Friday. The culprit has been the well-anticipated area of cooler water and drier air aloft. Nonetheless, Dorian is still officially a weak tropical storm and likely to continue marching westward toward the Leeward Islands this weekend. Satellite data Friday revealed an absence of deep thunderstorms near the storms center and an exposed low-level circulation center, both signs that Dorian will likely not re-strengthen anytime soon. As Dorian continues to be driven to the west by fast trade winds, it is fighting an increase in winds aloft from the opposite direction (shear) that will continue to prevent the storm from maturing. In fact, it is very possible that Dorian may not be able to survive as a tropical cyclone over the coming days if it doesn’t slow down or the wind shear strengthens.
AS OF 11 AM FRIDAY
- Located 1295miles east of northern Leeward Islands
- Maximum winds were near 50 mph
- Moving west-northwest at 21 mph
- Lowest pressure 1006 mb
FORECAST DISCUSSION: Confidence on how strong the storm will be, whether it will even be a tropical cyclone, or where it moves after this weekend is very low. For example, the spread on possible intensities 120 hours from now (next Tuesday) is anywhere from a strong tropical storm to nothing more than a tropical wave. Data also suggest the storm (or remnants thereof) will move more westward toward Hispaniola or Cuba, rather than turn northwest toward the Bahamas. While it appears less likely there will be a direct impact from Tropical Storm Dorian on the United States, Floridians should stay aware and informed of the very latest on the storm throughout the weekend and early next week. Even a weak tropical system could further aggravate what has become an increasing flooding threat in some areas from the recent relentless heavy rain.
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