JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hurricane Dorian, a category 2 storm with winds at 110 mph, has a slight movement of 2 mph towards the northwest as of Tuesday afternoon. The storm is expected to pick up speed throughout the day today and this evening. This will put Dorian off Jacksonville’s coast by midday on Wednesday.
SPECIAL SECTION: Tracking Hurricane Dorian
Local weather for Tuesday remains relatively uneventful with clouds and showers on and off. Winds begin to pick up for coastal counties throughout the day. The first direct impacts of Dorian will be noticed in Flagler and St. Johns County starting between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Wednesday morning. The western edge of Dorian will move north pushing its outer bands in our southernmost zones. Rain will begin to become steady along with increasing wind gusts especially for spots right along the beaches.
The worst of the weather for Flagler and St. Johns will arrive between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m. Strong northeast winds will increase the storm surge the most for coastal cities during this time. We can expect to see rainfall amounts of 3 to 6 inches with sustained winds at 30 to 40 mph and higher gusts of 50 mph. The strength of the winds will decrease farther inland and away from the storm’s center. This means Putnam County will likely have sustained winds at 15 to 25 mph and gusts of 35 mph. Rainfall totals for more inland areas around the St. Johns River will be closer to 2 to 4 inches.
Coastal Duval, Nassau and neighborhoods east of the St. Johns River, along with Camden and Glynn in Southeast Georgia will notice winds intensifying with heavier rainfall amounts between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. The top edge of the storm approaches, creating strong northeasterly winds, which will contribute to pushing water onshore for several hours. Sustained winds will increase Wednesday afternoon between 30 and 40 mph. Wind gusts will be at their highest averaging 50 mph along the coast and anticipated rainfall will be between 3 to 6 inches. Locations west of the St. Johns River will have less wind with gusts closer to 30 mph and rainfall totals between 2 to 4 inches.
The center of Hurricane Dorian is expected to be over 100 miles away from the coast of Duval County at its nearest approach, which will help to confine the strongest winds and rain to coastal locations. There will be a sharp drop in rainfall amounts and wind farther inland. The storm will remain a Category 2 as it moves away from Northeast Florida between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. However, this timing will be the most critical for flooding and storm surges for flood-prone areas.
We can expect to feel the gust winds and rain through 8 p.m. Wednesday with gradual weather improvements in St. Johns and Flagler counties as a northwest wind begins to help push ocean waters back out. As Dorian picks up speeding heading northward, the wind and rain will quickly subside Wednesday night with skies clearing on Thursday.
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