Why is Hurricane Dorian's path so tricky to predict?

Forecasters are having a doozy of a time trying to accurately predict Hurricane Dorian's path. Here's why.

    2019/09/04

NSFW    FLORIDA — The potential category 4 Hurricane Dorian may be barreling toward the continental U.S., but the unusual storm's final landfall destination remains difficult to predict.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that Hurricane Dorian had initially been forecast to directly hit Florida's east coast. But the next day, forecasts showed the storm's center drifting east of the state, and then later edging a bit back to the west.

Experts have said Dorian's path has been especially unpredictable, and here's why.

National Weather Service meteorologist Lance Wood told Live Science that the Atlantic high pressure system steering Hurricane Dorian started to weaken on the west side.

Weakened winds have led to the storm moving very slowly at just 7 miles per hour. This puts its approach further into the future and makes forecasting its track more difficult.

According to the Weather Channel, Dorian is expected to turn north as a gap opens up between the high-pressure Bermuda High system in the Atlantic and a low pressure system from the Great Lakes region.

The timing and angle of the turn will depend on its interactions with the Bermuda High system, which forecasters have limited knowledge of and thus cannot accurately project.

According to NWS meteorologist Joel Cline, the most likely scenario is that Dorian will miss Florida's east coast and move northward toward Georgia. It is then expected to either pass close to or make landfall in South Carolina or North Carolina.

The Los Angeles Times reports that if the storm does push toward the U.S. East coast, there is a potential for heavy rain and with it, damage from storm surges and flooding.

This means anyone living in an area that could potentially be hit or affected by Dorian's rampage had best be prepared for the worst.
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