Hurricane Dorian came close, but damage in Duval was minimal

Area counties fared well too, according to National Weather Service

By John Gaughan - Chief meteorologist

80° West longitude seems very important in measuring Coastal damage from passing hurricanes.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The National Weather Service completed its assessment on the damage brought by Hurricane Dorian and it appears the storm's track just spared the East Coast of Georgia and Florida. 

Based upon recent and historical hurricanes, unsurprisingly, it breaks down to size, intensity and 80° west longitude.

Dorian track reaches 79.7° west longitude when passing east of Jacksonville Beach. That placed Dorian about 85 miles east of Jacksonville Beach. The storm was just outside the damaging 55 knot wind field.

Hurricane Matthew reached 80.7° west, and we had serious coastal damage, whereas Hurricane Floyd reached only 70.5° west, and we only had beach damage.

As it turns out, 55 knot (63 mph) winds (or greater) are those winds that have brought power outages, tree canopy damage and significant coastal and inland tidal flooding. Dorian's track was closer to Floyd's track, and the result was much less coastal damage.

In other words, we were once again rather lucky.

Had Dorian been about 50 miles closer (like Matthew) the impact would have been more... Mathew-like. 

Here are some observed weather conditions:

Location Weather Time
  Max Peak Winds  
Summerhouse (Flagler County) NE winds at 58 mph  September 4rd at 1:08 AM
Jax Beach Pier (Duval County) NW at 55 mph --
Buck Island (Duval County)  NW at 55 mph --
St. Augustine Pier (St. Johns County) NE at 62 mph September 4th at 8:08 AM
Palm Coast (Flagler County)  5.25" multi-day
Bunnell (Flagler County)  3.75"  
Sawgrass (St. Johns County) 3.31"  
Jax International Airport 1.07"  


Source: NWS JAX


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