This weekend Hurricane Dorian, became one of the strongest storms recorded in the Atlantic, at it's peak it was producing sustained winds of 185 mph with gusts as strong as 220 mph.
As the weekend unfolded so did a nightmare in the Bahamas as Dorian hit the islands at its peak bringing a torrent of wind and water the likes of which the Bahamas had never seen before, residents braced for the worst.
Today I gave a live national briefing on the extremely dangerous #HurricaneDorian from NEMA Headquarters. This is probably the saddest and worst day for me to address the Bahamian people. We are facing a hurricane that we have never seen in The Bahamas. Please pray for us. pic.twitter.com/YOCoOaHI6x— Dr Hubert Minnis (@minnis_dr) September 1, 2019
The first images started to trickle out on Sunday, videos of the storm's fury were popping up on the internet a look into what it was like to experience a storm of this magnitude.
Videos of trees bent to the breaking point, waves rolling down streets as the ocean expanded out in all directions swallowing any land in the way, and heartbreaking cries for help and prayers.
Violent winds from Hurricane Dorian lash Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas.— ABC News (@ABC) September 1, 2019
Hurricane Dorian has since made landfall as a catastrophic Category 5 storm, bringing potentially life-threatening storm surge and flash flooding. https://t.co/63nNDBBUjV pic.twitter.com/RLLeXP4U5a
This is in Marsh Harbour, Abaco In the The Bahamas 🇧🇸 being pounded by Hurricane Dorian on Sunday 1st September, 2019 at this time 🙏🏽#HurricaneDorian2019 #HurricaneDorian #hurricane #hurricandorian #weather #ClimateChange #242 #Bahamas pic.twitter.com/fPiAZG6rGl— 🇧🇸James Julmis🇧🇸 (@julmisjames) September 1, 2019
Monday morning the images turned from those of the storm's impacts to the gut wrenching images of what it has left behind, a landscape completely altered after feeling the full force of one of the strongest storms on record.
As the Bahamas continue to feel the impacts from Dorian, more videos and heartbreaking images will be leaking out over the coming days and the attention will then turn to where this storm is headed and what happens next.
As of the writing of this article (Monday early morning) Dorian was practically stationary, a scary proposition given the weather the Bahamas has already experienced and continues to experience.
Those who live along the east coast of Florida though must put all their faith in the forecast and the hopes that this storm starts to drift to the north by the end of the day, because each mile it drifts west brings all those impacts closer to shore.
It's important to remember that these storms aren't just a singular point on a map, so just because the eye stays offshore doesn't mean that the impacts will do the same.
Tropical storm winds stretch out 140 miles from the center, hurricane force winds stretch for rough 45 miles with dangerous seas and rip currents expected across the Atlantic coastline.
As the eye is expected to stay offshore this storm will be able to stay a major hurricane for the majority of the week, and even by Friday it's still expected to be a category 2 storm as it hits the Outer Banks in North Carolina.
Just how historic is Hurricane Dorian? It's on a very short list of storms that have even come close reaching the peak conditions that Dorian has hit.
You've got to go back to that record breaking 2005 season when we had Wilma reach the 185 threshold, after that it's Allen (1980) which had peak winds at 190 mph, Gilbert (1988) hit 185 mph, and the famous Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 (which actually hit the Florida Keys on this day) which also was 185 mph.
An idea of how strong those winds are at it's peak in Lafayette Barry brought us 50 mph winds, that's three times the magnitude sustained over 24 hours.
This is now the fourth season in a row where the Atlantic has produced a Category 5 storm, Matthew in 2016, Irma and Maria in 2017 (Harvey was a strong 4 at landfall also in this season), Hurricane Michael in 2018, and now Dorian joining the list.
Until then you had to go all the way back to 2007 when the Atlantic produced a Category 5 storm in Felix.
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