Jacksonville's coast out of Hurricane Dorian's cone of concern

Despite shift to the east, Hurricane Warnings remain along Florida coast

By John Gaughan - Chief meteorologist, Richard Nunn - Meteorologist, Rebecca Barry - Meteorologist, Mark Collins - Meteorologist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center showed Hurricane Dorian's predicted path turning east and the storm's cone moving just off the Jacksonville coast.

NOTE: For the latest Hurricane Dorian forecast, click here

This may feel like a glimmer of hope for the First Coast but the threat is still very real as Hurricane Warnings for the Florida coast have been extended north to Ponte Vedra Beach. At 5 a.m., a Tropical Storm Warning was issued north of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida to Altamaha Sound in Georgia as the major cyclone was spinning 105 miles east of West Palm Beach. The Tropical Storm Warning includes Camden, Duval, Glynn, and Nassau counties.

A Tropical Storm Warning means tropical storm-force winds are expected somewhere within the area within the next 36 hours. A Hurricane Warning means hurricane conditions are expected within 48 hours. 

Hurricane Dorian's sustained winds decreased through the day, but it was still measured at 120 mph at 5 a.m. today.

A Hurricane Watch continues north from the St. Johns-Duval County line to the South Santee River in South Carolina.

The Category 3 hurricane, which has been stationary for the last few hours is pummeling the northern Bahamas.  A slow northwestward motion is expected to occur today.

A turn toward the north is forecast by late Tuesday, with a northeastward motion forecast to begin by Wednesday night, according to NOAA.

"The hurricane will then move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late Tuesday through Wednesday evening, very near the Georgia and South Carolina coasts Wednesday night and Thursday, and near or over the North Carolina coast late Thursday and Friday," NOAA forecasters wrote. 

Here is a timeline of what we could be seeing as Dorian impacts Jacksonville:

Basic timeline of when we need to finalize all our preps, possible bridge closures and possible re-openings.

WHAT TO WATCH: Predicted local impacts of Hurricane Dorian

The forecast path of the storm shows Dorian staying just offshore of Florida's East Coast and moving closest to Jacksonville -- about 80 miles offshore -- around 2 p.m. Wednesday as a Category 3. That proximity would bring tropical-storm-force winds to the broad stroke of the area and potentially hurricane-force gusts along the coast. 

The primary concerns will be wind gusts up to 65 mph at the beach, coastal flooding and erosion, flooding related to strong northerly winds, and 3-6 inches of rain in our coastal areas,

If Dorian tracked offshore of Jacksonville as the current track suggests, here would be the possible impacts:

     Tracking Dorian
  • Coastal Flood Warning is in effect until the storm passes. Tides are already running up to 2 feet above normal.
  • Tuesday will be generally breezy with sunshine and brief, yet intense downpours.
  • Swells from the approaching system will grow as it nears, causing potentially life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Many beaches will be closed the next few days.
  • If the hurricane remains along the coast, coastal flooding erosion will be likely. 

Coastal areas could get 3 to 6 inches of rain, with 8 inches in some places.

Copyright 2019 by WJXT News4Jax. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.