11 p.m. Update: Hurricane Dorian has been upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane.
(WJHL) – Hurricane Dorian remains a category 2 on the verge of a category 3 storm. The storm is forecast to come closest to land in the U.S. as it nears the Carolinas. A couple landfalls are possible in South Carolina and/or North Carolina Thursday and Friday.
As of Wednesday evening, Hurricane Dorian is off the coast of eastern Georgia with winds of 110 mph. It’s moving north-northwest at 8 mph. On that track, the center of circulation could come on land in the Carolinas. If not, it’ll be very close. The best chance of landfall appears to be across southeastern North Carolina at this time as a category 2 early Friday, but impacts will still be felt elsewhere. There will just be a pretty sharp drop off in effects west the farther west you go from I-95 based on the forecast.
Storm surge could cause pretty extensive inundation along the coastline, especially from Isle of Palms and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina up toward the Outerbanks of North Carolina even before the winds pick up.
Flooding from very heavy rain is a concern in the coastal Carolinas. 5 to 15 inches of rain is in the forecast. 3-6 inches is generally expected from the FL/GA line to the GA/South Carolina line. Even the Tidewater region of SE Virginia could get some heavy rain. West of Raleigh and Fayetteville you’ll see the rain little to no rain, including here int he Tri-Cities.
Winds will pick up tonight and Thursday. Tropical storm force winds (39-73 mph) will be widespread. Gusts especially from South Carolina up to the North Carolina/Virginia border could reach hurricane force (74+ mph). Hurricanes aren’t a single point so even if the center stays offshore impacts will be felt. Impacts, including storm surge, rain, and wind will go up if the storm makes landfall.
No impacts are expected in the Tri-Cities. Extra clouds are expected and a few showers, especially in the mountains.