JACKSONVILLE, Fla – Should Tropical Storm Dorian last through the week, it could impact our Labor Day.
During the next couple of days it will be interesting to see if Dorian can power up to hurricane strength as predicted by the National Hurricane Center. Figuring out the intensity of this system is tricky because of its tiny size.
Dorian may challenge this season's trend for short-lived tropical systems.
Dry air is keeping Dorian from growing but as it passes across the Windward Islands Monday night and across the eastern Caribbean Tuesday, slow strengthening seems likely due to low wind shear conditions and warm water.
But roadblocks like surrounding dry air and a significant island in its path could result in the cyclones demise.
Models initially think so, especially the EURO and GFS and rugged terrain of Hispaniola may break up the storm, but whatever is left after moving into the southeast Bahamas on Friday is shown by the models to head at Florida, spoiling the Labor Day weekend with rain.
The NHC no longer brings Dorian to hurricane strenght before landfall in the Dominican Republic, but does keep it at storm strength impacting Florida this weekend.
It should be noted that the GFS and ECMWF have been very consistent in showing Dorian dissipating over the Caribbean Sea but again strengthens over the western Bahamas and Gulf Stream closer to Florida..
Models have less skill predicting intensity in compact systems like Dorian when storm-force winds extend out just 45 miles.
If it restrengthens near the very warm waters in the Bahamas the steering flow would likely bring rain to Florida starting Saturday through Labor Day.
Until Thursday, any potential impacts from Dorian in Florida are highly uncertain, given the potential for the system to interact with Hispaniola. Until then, we keep watch.