The nation’s weather forecasters, possibly egged on by an overly excited media, may have gotten it wrong – again. Hurricane Dorian’s forecast track changed on Saturday, just hours after forecasters were 100% confident it would strike Florida. The wrong forecast caused millions of Floridians to pour into stores emptying shelves while lines at gas stations stretched for miles. It was the third time in as many years that forecasters were left embarrassed after attempting to forecast the location of a landfall almost a week early.
Now it’s not Florida and only a few out of dozens of computer models even show it making landfall. But that’s only a guess as well. Those computer modes now show it staying well off the eastern seaboard and heading into the northern Atlantic ocean and possibly not making landfall until it reaches Canada.
The 2019 hurricane season has been historically quiet after months of hype as media reports noted that “climate change” would bring over a dozen named storms to U.S. shores. It hasn’t panned out that way.
In fact, most models now project Dorian—now a Category 4 storm—staying just off Florida’s coast Tuesday and Wednesday and if it doesn’t track off into the atlantic, eventually landing on South Carolina’s coast Wednesday or Thursday as a possible Cat 2.
That means there’s a lot of uncertainty in the forecast, with the storm still days away from the US coast.
Weather professionals are may be playing up lesser effects from the storm since a devastating landfall does not look likely. If the storm’s center doesn’t smack into Florida they say, “Dorian is expected to be close enough to the coast to bring strong wind, storm surge, and flooding rains starting early next week,” Hennen said.
By 8 a.m. ET Saturday, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 145 mph as it neared the northern Bahamas, which Dorian is expected to reach Sunday.
Last year a storm was categorized as a Cat 4 and was forecast to hit Louisiana. It hit as a weak Cat 2.
The nation’s media have come under heavy criticism in recent years for forecasting storms and causing media panic before the true path of a storm can be established. Critics say, as in Louisiana this year, the public becomes desensitized to true storms by wrong forecasts.