As Hurricane Dorian Snakes Along the East Coast, Georgia and South Carolina Brace for Storm

September 4, 2019, 3:13 PM UTC

The first bands of rain from Hurricane Dorian hit Daniel Island, SC at 8:53 a.m. ET. They were heavy, but nothing the Charleston suburb isn’t used to. Later tonight, the story will be much different.

Hurricane Dorian is still a strong Category 2 storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale and, having decimated the Bahamas and scraped the east coast of Florida, it is working its way north. The National Hurricane Center, in its 11 a.m. ET update, said the storm’s sustained winds now stand at 105 mph.

While Dorian is much weaker than the 185 mph winds it once sustained, it continues to grow in size. Hurricane force winds now extend 70 miles from the eye of the storm and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles. It is expected to retain its Category 2 status through at least Friday.

Dorian appears to be skirting the east coast, sparing a direct impact, but it’s close enough that a slight shift in the storm could dramatically change conditions. A northward turn is expected tonight, with a turn toward the northeast on Thursday. That will put it near or over the South Carolina and North Carolina coast Thursday or Friday.

Residents in South Carolina have been told to expect tropical storm force winds from late this evening through most of the day on Thursday. Rainfall amounts could exceed 10 inches, with coastal areas getting both more rain and higher wind speeds. And storm surge are a growing concern. Forecasters in Charleston are expecting harbor tides of over 10 feed at 1am ET Thursday morning. (Major flooding occurs at 8 feet.)

As for the other tropical events in the Atlantic, those don’t seem to be poised to affect the United States at present. Tropical Storm Fernand will hit Mexico this weekend. And Tropical Storm Gabrielle is not considered a threat to land at present, but forecasters will continue to monitor it.

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