"In any event, let's hope Dorian is the one and only storm we will suffer this year. Having a bad snowstorm in January is one thing - losing your house to a Cat 5 super storm is quite another."
Is it possible to personify a storm? Might be, as I have heard many terms as of late to describe Hurricane Dorian. I think the most common name I have heard is "monster". My fascination with hurricanes started in 1969 while stationed in Pensacola. That is when I went though a "brush" with another Cat 5 "monster" called Camille. It was then I found it is one thing to watch a terrible storm on TV, and quite another to be looking down the barrel of the gun (so to speak). Camille terrified this nineteen year old kid from Minnesota - bit time.
Overnight, this beast called Dorian slowed to almost a full stop. Why? Zero steering currents. No steering currents to turn it northward, no steering currents to keep it going westward. With winds in the storm ranging from 165 to sometimes 180 mph, it parked itself over those wonderful Bahama Islands. Parked, and just started grinding those beautiful beaches to bits. Even though the people in the Bahamas have learned to use some of the most stringent building codes in their structures, this non-stop barrage of killer winds might have been too much to handle.
One weather guesser tried to explain it this way. Now that the forward progress of Dorian is down to 1 mph, it would be like having an EF 3 tornado come into your neighborhood - and not leave. Just keep grinding down everything in its sights. And what if this thing does not make its forecasted right hand turn fast enough? What if it does a "brush" on Florida's east coast with winds that strong? That will be bad - very bad. Many remember the almost total devastation that Hurricane Andrew left in Florida in 1992. That was also a Cat 5 storm, with winds of 175 mph. Only that storm did not linger.
On the news this morning, one of the commentators said it was with great trepidation, that he was waiting for the first daylight pictures of the Bahamas to show up. He knew it was going to be bad. As I had mentioned on social media, we were just in the Bahamas two years ago. Did some history tours. Met the people. These are some of the finest, nicest, most solid folks I have met anywhere. The thought of them, trying to survive, hunkered down under this stationary super storm, is unsettling at best.
The news about the progress of this storm will linger on until Friday. That is an incredible length of time for a storm like this to live. The weather folks say it will lose some of its teeth be week's end - like maybe be down to a Cat 2 or 1. But until week's end, Dorian will continue to chew up pristine barrier islands and beautiful beaches in Florida and the southeastern coast.
Two years ago, we had Hurricane Maria which levied a body blow on Puerto Rico. Even today, there are parts of that poverty infested island which have not recovered. Hurricane Irma also hit that year. Most costly storm ever to hit Florida. What many do not know about Irma, was it could have been so much worse. It was a strong Cat 5 when it made its turn to the north to hit Florida. However, in doing so, it "brushed" Cuba. That took enough starch out of Irma to get it down to a strong Cat 4 - still bad.
Each storm is unique and different that any before it. That is one of the reasons forecasting is so tricky. In any event, let's hope Dorian is the one and only storm we will suffer this year. Having a bad snowstorm in January is one thing - losing your house to a Cat 5 super storm is quite another.