Tropical Storm Dorian Way Out There, But Worth Watching

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On Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center designated the system they had been watching way out in the Atlantic as Tropical Storm Dorian, our fourth named storm of the hurricane season. Dorian is way the hell out in the Atlantic just off the coast of Africa, making it a Cape Verde storm. These storms arise near the Cape Verde islands and are normally where the most powerful hurricanes have formed because they have so much time to spend over water.

Dorian is going to battle some cooler water, dry air and wind shear over the next four to five days, which is why the NHC is not giving it a great chance of developing into a hurricane for the near term. It will continue to move west-northwest under the influence of high pressure to its north, but it will make an eventual turn to the north as all storms do. When and where that happens will determine if the U.S. coastline will be affected.

It is unlikely at this point that Dorian makes it all the way into the Gulf. Most forecast models are projecting movement along its current path for the next three to five days. After that, it is too far out to tell, but the farther it moves to the west, the more likely a landfall in Florida or along the East Coast would be. Any turn prior to that, and it's unlikely any part of the U.S. would feel the effects.

It is worth noting that this is a signal that the most active portion of hurricane season is under way. When Cape Verde storms begin forming, they often will line up one after another. Not all develop, but this is the time to pay close attention to the Atlantic, with just a couple months left to go in the portion of the season most likely to affect Texas.

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