Dorian Bringing Strong Winds, Heavy Rain and Storm Surge to Nova Scotia as it Rapidly Moves Through Eastern Canada

weather.com meteorologists
Published: September 8, 2019

Dorian is rapidly moving through Atlantic Canada with damaging winds and destructive waves.

Dorian's maximum sustained winds make it a Category 2 equivalent system and it continues to move quickly northeastward.

The center of the eye made landfall in Sambro Creek, Canada at 6:15 p.m. AST. The eye of Dorian reached Halifax around 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Winds calmed across the city and water receded temporarily.

Dorian is becoming a large mid-latitude cyclone, but it will still bring hurricane-force winds to parts of eastern Canada.

Osbourne Head, Nova Scotia, recently reported sustained winds of 68 mph (109 km/h) and a wind gust of 88 mph (142 km/h).

(INTERACTIVE: Current Radar, Satellite


Current Storm Status

Dorian is rapidly approaching the city of Halifax, where wind gusts have been over 60 mph.

Wind gusts over 70 mph were measured in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, midday Saturday.

At least one crane collapsed in Halifax as wind gusts increased.

Storm surge and high seas are battering the Canadian coast.

Dorian is a very large and continually growing hurricane-strength system.

Tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) extend up to 310 miles from the center, while hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) extend up to 115 miles from the center.


Current Winds

Watches and Warnings

Here is a rundown of the current watches and warnings, according to the National Hurricane Center:

Hurricane Warning

-Eastern Nova Scotia from Lower East Pubnico to Brule.

-Western Newfoundland from Indian Harbour to Hawke's Bay.

-A hurricane warning means hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) are either already occurring or expected somewhere within the warning area, generally within 36 hours. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.

Hurricane Watch

-Prince Edward Island and the Magdalen Islands.

-A hurricane watch means that hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) are possible within the watch area, within 48 hours.

Tropical Storm Warning

-Prince Edward Island, Magdalen Islands and southwestern Nova Scotia from Avonport to north of Lower East Pubnico.

-Portions of eastern Canada including, Fundy National Park to Shediac; Stone's Cove to Indian Harbour; Hawke's Bay to Fogo Island; and Mutton Bay to Mary's Harbour.

-A tropical storm warning means tropical-storm-force winds are expected within 36 hours.


Watches and Warnings

Below is the latest forecast of Dorian's timing and impacts.

Dorian's Forecast Timing

Sunday: Dorian will move east-northeastward rapidly through eastern Canada. Heavy rain and strong winds will continue in parts of Newfoundland and Labrador.


Projected Path

Dorian's Storm Surge, Wind and Rain Impacts

Storm Surge

Storm surge is likely in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the southwestern coast of Newfoundland and eastern Nova Scotia on Saturday.

Winds

Hurricane-force winds are likely in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland through mid-evening. Tropical storm-force winds are possible in areas under a tropical storm warning, Saturday night into Sunday.

Rainfall Flood Threat

Dorian may produce flooding rain from extreme southeast New England into eastern Canada.

Here are the latest rainfall projections from the National Hurricane Center and NOAA's Weather Prediction Center:

-Nova Scotia: 3 to 5 inches, isolated up to 7 inches.

-New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island: 2 to 4 inches.

-Newfoundland and far eastern Quebec: 1 to 2 inches.

Check back to weather.com for the latest on Hurricane Dorian.

Wind, Rainfall So Far

Here is a rundown of some peak wind gusts and rainfall totals from Dorian in the U.S., according to the National Weather Service:

Peak Wind Gusts

-110 mph: Cedar Island Ferry Terminal, North Carolina

-101 mph: Buxton, North Carolina

-98 mph: Near Centenary, South Carolina

-94 mph: Cape Lookout, North Carolina

-92 mph: Near Fripp Island, South Carolina

-88 mph: Winyah Bay, South Carolina with a sustained wind of 77 mph

-85 mph: Ft. Macon near Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

-83 mph: Chesapeake Light Tower, Virginia

-76 mph: Nantucket Shoals Buoy

-75 mph: Shutes Folly in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina

-72 mph: Ft. Sumter, South Carolina

-69 mph: New Smyrna Beach, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina (International Airport)

-67 mph: Hilton Head, South Carolina

-64 mph: Norfolk, Virginia

-60 mph: Tybee Island, Georgia

Wind gusts from Hurricane Dorian in the U.S.

Peak Rainfall Totals

-15.21 inches: Near Pawleys Island, South Carolina

-12.77 inches: Near Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

-13.10 inches: Near Wilmington, North Carolina

-11.86 inches: Conway, South Carolina

-10.96 inches: Lumber River

-10.64 inches: Near McClellanville, South Carolina

-10.25 inches: Castle Hayne, North Carolina

-5.68 inches: Near Palm Coast, Florida

-5.54 inches: Charleston, South Carolina

Rainfall totals from Hurricane Dorian, September 2019.

Storm Recap: Dorian's Historic Pummeling of the Northwest Bahamas

Dorian was upgraded to Category 5 status on September 1 and became the first hurricane of that intensity to make landfall on Grand Bahama Island, after first making a pair of landfalls in the Abacos Islands of the northwestern Bahamas earlier in the day.

Maximum sustained winds topped out at 185 mph, tying the second-highest sustained wind speed among all Atlantic hurricanes. Dorian also tied the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane in the Florida Keys as the strongest landfalling hurricane in the Atlantic Basin.

(MORE: The Rarity of Category 5 Hurricanes

According to Robert Rohde, lead scientist at Berkeley Earth, while over the northwestern Bahamas, Dorian was also the slowest-moving major hurricane (Category 3 or stronger) on record in the Atlantic Basin, crawling at just 1 to 2 mph averaged over a 24-hour period.

Dorian's eyewall finally moved away from Grand Bahama Island on the afternoon of September 3 after pummeling the island for 41 straight hours with destructive winds and catastrophic storm-surge flooding.

In total, this intense hurricane's eyewall lashed the northwestern Bahamas for an astonishing 51 straight hours since first beginning its siege on the Abacos Islands on the morning of September 1.

On August 23, the National Hurricane Center first highlighted the incipient tropical wave that would become Dorian when it was about 1,400 miles east of the Windward Islands.

It became a tropical depression, then tropical storm the following day.

Tenaciously fighting off dry air, Dorian held together as it swept through the Windward Islands on August 26 and 27, dumping flooding rain in Martinique.

After moving over St. Lucia, the center of Dorian reformed farther north, something not uncommon in weaker tropical storms and depressions moving over mountainous terrain fighting dry air.

This northward reforming center eventually became better organized and intensified to a hurricane as it tracked through the Virgin Islands on August 28. An elevated weather station on Buck Island just south of St. Thomas reported a sustained wind of 82 mph and a gust to 111 mph. Quite an impressive change since staggering through the Windward Islands.

Dorian then intensified to a Category 4 hurricane by August 30, when hurricane warnings were first issued in the northwest Bahamas.

The increasingly formidable hurricane generated frequent lightning, as seen both from the GOES-East satellite and from a Hurricane Hunter mission overnight on August 31.

By September 1, Dorian topped out at Category 5 intensity, then began its catastrophic lashing of the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas.

Sustained tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) arrived at Juno Beach, Florida, on Labor Day and continued along parts of the northeastern Florida coast through September 4, with gusts topping 60 mph at times.

While Dorian's most intense winds largely missed the Florida coast, there were destructive coastal impacts.

Major beach erosion occurred at Flagler Beach, according to the National Weather Service. The Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore documented damage to homes on Hutchinson Island due to pounding surf.

Major beach erosion was also reported in Vero Beach, according to WKMG-TV. Flooding of streets and parking lots was reported on barrier islands near Fort Pierce at high tide.

Water levels were 3 inches over the seawall at Palm Coast.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office shared photos on Twitter showing damage at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park in Jacksonville Beach on September 4.

Wind gusts of 60 to 75 mph were clocked in the Charleston metro on September 5, and also in Hilton Head Island and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. There were a number of reports of trees and wires downed in the Charleston metro area, including a tree toppled onto a home in the West Ashley neighborhood of Charleston, injuring one.

There have also been reports of trees down in parts of central South Carolina, along Interstates 95 and 26.

The combination of rainfall flooding plus flooding from storm surge prompted the closing of over 50 streets in Charleston, South Carolina, according to local emergency management.

Surge flooding was much lower than forecast, due to winds still blowing offshore as the center of Dorian remained just far enough to the east and offshore of Charleston.

There have been 23 reports of tornadoes in the Carolinas on September 5, some of which were damaging.

A waterspout moved ashore in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, damaging homes in an RV Park.

Homes were damaged near Carolina Shores, North Carolina, from another apparent tornado, and law enforcement sighted a tornado in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, where condos and a trailer park were damaged.

Tornadoes were also sighted in Little River, South Carolina, and northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.

After midnight on Sept. 6, multiple stretches of Interstate 40 were reported flooded near the Sampson-Duplin County line north of Turkey, North Carolina. Fifteen roads were closed in Sampson County due to flooding and one section of a road was reported washed out near Clinton.

Dorian made landfall over Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, at 8:35 a.m. EDT with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph and a central pressure of 956 millibars.

Dorian's Landfall in North Carolina on Friday

Roads were reported flooded countywide in Washington County, North Carolina, early Friday.

The backside of Dorian brought a storm surge from Pamlico Sound to North Carolina's Outer Banks on Sept. 6 resulting in a rapid rise in water levels at Ocracoke and Hatteras. A flash flood emergency was issued by the National Weather Service for Hyde and Dare counties.

The water level reached 6.37 feet at Ocracoke Friday morning and Hatteras saw its second highest water level on record, 5.32 feet, the record level was set during Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Flooding was reported midday Friday in southeastern Virginia, including in Norfolk and Sandbridge.

A sustained wind of 83 mph with a gust to 98 mph was reported late Friday morning at Avon Sound, North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Cape Lookout, North Carolina, reported one-minute sustained winds of 81 mph, with a gust to 94 mph early Friday morning, according to the NHC.

Sustained winds of 83 mph with a gust of 98 mph was reported midday Friday at Jannette Pier, North Carolina.

Tropical storm conditions were reported in southeastern Massachusetts early Saturday. Sustained winds of 64 mph with a gust to 80 mph was reported Saturday morning from a buoy near Nantucket. Winds gusts of 63 mph have been measured in Provincetown and up to 60 mph in Wellfleet.

Trees and power lines have come down in several locations across Cape Cod.

The map below shows a history of Dorian's track.


Hurricane Dorian Track History


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