Hurricane Dorian parked itself on the Bahamas for hours before the system is expected to move toward the Atlantic coast.
The storm was “stationary much of the day” Monday as it brought strong winds and heavy rain to the Caribbean country, the National Hurricane Center said.
In a Tuesday morning update, forecasters said the hurricane had barely moved for 18 hours.
So what caused the storm to be so slow?
It all comes down to the strength of steering currents, which are winds responsible for moving whatever is in their path.
“The reason the cyclone has moved very little is because it is caught in weak steering currents,” the National Hurricane Center said Monday night.
The next day, the center reported “steering currents in its vicinity have collapsed” as it moved 1 mph.
So, the hurricane had to wait for a nudge from an “external force,” Time reports.
Adam Douty, an AccuWeather meteorologist, said a cold front coming from the Great Lakes region could provide the push, according to Time.
Now, the hurricane is expected to gain speed as it heads north, bringing threats of storm surge and high wind to states along the Atlantic Ocean, according to the center.
You should expect the storm to have a “very slow and likely erratic northwest drift through at least early Tuesday,” according to the National Hurricane Center. “After that time, the models are in general agreement that the ridge to the east and trough to the north will amplify.
“This change in the steering pattern should cause Dorian to move a little faster to the north,” the center reported.
Forecasters say “the hurricane will then move dangerously close to the Florida east coast late today 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.”