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  • Weekly Weather Event -Week of Aug. 26

Weekly Weather Event -Week of Aug. 26

August 28, 2019

On Friday August 23rd, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration identified a low-pressure system developing in the Atlantic Ocean. By that Saturday, it had been upgraded first to a tropical depression and then to Tropical Storm Dorian. Tropical storm warnings have been issued throughout the eastern Caribbean Sea. As of this writing on August 28th, Tropical Storm Dorian has been upgraded to a Category 1 Hurricane near St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico is currently under a Hurricane Watch and eastern portions of the island are expected to receive up to 10 inches of rain. Current projections have Hurricane Dorian strengthening into a category 3 hurricane and making landfall on Florida’s east coast by late Sunday or early Monday. However, it is too early to determine which locations will be hit the hardest. Check NOAA’s National Hurricane Center for the latest updates and the UW CIMSS page for satellite footage.

All the above storms are considered tropical cyclones, or rotating low-pressure systems made up of thunderstorms. These storms are fueled both by the low-pressure systems and warm ocean waters. A tropical depression has maximum sustained surface winds of less than 39 miles per hour (mph); a tropical storm has maximum sustained surface winds of 39 mph or more. When wind speeds reach 74 mph, it is considered a hurricane.

Regardless of their strength, tropical storms of any kind are known to bring damaging wind, rain, and flooding to coastal communities. For more information on how to prepare for these sorts of storms, the National Hurricane Center recommends creating a disaster supply kit, developing an evacuation plan, and keeping yourself informed.