Dorian may actually bring drier weather to Coast, but don’t celebrate yet, officials say

See Hurricane Dorian from the International Space Station

Views of Hurricane Dorian from a camera outside the International Space Station orbiting 250 miles above the Earth on Aug. 29, 2019.
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Views of Hurricane Dorian from a camera outside the International Space Station orbiting 250 miles above the Earth on Aug. 29, 2019.

Hurricane Dorian is not expected to affect the Coast, but the storm could bring drier, hotter conditions to south Mississippi next week, officials say.

The Friday evening forecast from the National Hurricane Center has the now-Category 4 storm tracking westward over the northern Bahamas before making landfall Tuesday, likely along Florida’s southern Atlantic Coast.

The hurricane center still projects the storm will turn north after making landfall, but Friday evening some models suggested it could turn north even before making landfall. A few storm models also still show Dorian could cross over Florida and enter the Gulf, but that possibility is becoming less and less likely, said Phil Grigsby, a forecaster with the National Weather Service’s office in Slidell.

“The majority of the models take it right up the spine of Florida or right along the coast on the east side,” Grigsby said.

If Hurricane Dorian does follow its projected path up Florida, the Coast will be on the drier side of the system. Rain chances should be low, and temperatures could get hot towards the middle part of next week, he said.

“Potentially in the mid- to upper-90s,” Grigsby said. “The good news is that the humidity values will be lower as well but it still could potentially get pretty hot.”

Rupert Lacy, the director of the Harrison County Emergency Management, said the agency is still keeping an eye on the storm.

“The cone of ... uncertainty is still quite large,” he said. “Until everything really tightens up ... we always need to be vigilant but not overly alarmed. This storm is still a multi-day event.

“There’s not a lot of distance between us and Orlando, and Mother Nature can be finicky. I’m taking this forecast period by forecast period.”

He advised Friday afternoon the track had shifted to the north and east, and the threat to the Mississippi Coast continues to decrease.

Hurricane Dorian is forecast to be a major Category 4 hurricane before Florida landfall, according to the 11 a.m. update on Friday, August 30, from the National Hurricane Center. Georgia coast now included in cone as a possible track after landfall.

Nick Wooten is the Southern Trends and Culture reporter for McClatchy’s South region. He is based in Columbus, Georgia at the Ledger-Enquirer but his work also appears in The (Macon) Telegraph and The Sun Herald in Biloxi.Before joining McClatchy, he worked for The (Shreveport La.) Times covering city government and investigations. He is a graduate of Mercer University in Macon, Georgia.