DORIAN close to category 5 nearing landfall

0700 GMT Sunday 1st September 2019

Hurricane DORIAN is almost at peak intensity now, between a strong category 4 to category 5 storm, starting a tortuous slow landfall over the northern Bahamas. Conditions are already deteriorating as torrential rainbands fan across the islands driven by tropical storm force winds with hurricane conditions to follow. The eye of DORIAN will move over Abacos and Grand Bahama Islands this afternoon with, what some observers are describing as, ‘devastating, destructive impact'. At 0700Z this morning, DORIAN was centred around 250 miles east of Palm Beach, westbound at 7 knots, close to a peak hurricane severity intensity rating of 27 out of 50 (6 for size and 21 for intensity). This makes DORIAN a compact, very powerful storm indeed. Current observed winds are gusting up to 160 knots with a relatively tight tropical storm force windfield radius of just over 100 miles. Once DORIAN makes landfall, groundspeed is expected to reduce further, prolonging impact exposure. If there is any positive view to be had, DORIAN is now expected to turn north-east before landfall in Florida which may keep the worst excesses offshore along the eastern seaboard, but this will be clearer tomorrow and of little comfort to the northern Bahamas.

Stealth Disturbance Thirty Four is tip-toeing west across the south central Gulf of Mexico. This may become a tropical depression or even a weak tropical storm before moving ashore into northeastern Mexico late on Tuesday night or early Wednesday. Most observers are relaxed about this. Still worth watching though.

Disturbance Thirty Five is mid-convergence zone showing some rotation and heavy thunderstorm activity. This system is moving northwest at 8 knots but regardless of development will turn harmlessly northeast into mid-Atlantic anonymity.

Disturbance Thirty Three is a day west of the Cape Verde Islands ambling slowly west. This is getting this act together but looking to turn early and expected to turn before reaching the Caribbean.

Stand by for destructive hurricane landfall in the northern Bahamas.