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August 2019

[Friday Night] Dorian a Cat 4 – an Extreme Threat to All of Southeast U.S. and Northern Bahamas

   Posted by Levi at 9:06pm on August 30, 2019




  • J says:

    Best analysis yet, Levi. It all comes down to: We don’t know yet who is going to get hammered the most or exactly when. I appreciate your hard work on this. Get some rest now. You Bahamians and South Floridians take care also.

    • Patty says:

      Love this guy, finely someone that talks in detail about the steering currents effecting the storms behavior.

      • Tabitha Helmer says:

        You are without a doubt my go to guy for reliable, clean information. I’ve learned so much from you! This site has been my main source since Irma and the only one I trust for simple raw truth. Thank you so much !!!

        I am confused about one thing and you may have discussed it but I missed it …. Why did these models miss the intensification between the islands and Bahamas? Every one last week showed it falling apart ..
        I guess it’s water under the bridge at this point but as I learn o like to find the errors and adjust accordingly


        • Chevelle says:

          Last week the models were showing the storm track further south and traveling over more of these mountainous islands. When the track shifted north a bit, the storm missed the islands and the mountains that would weaken it.

        • Yrral says:

          People in Florida ,if not the wind, the water, their could be tidal surges up to 25 ft, away from the center eyeball, acting as a bulldozer, pushing water ashore for up 24 hours,

      • Marisol says:

        Thank you for this work! It makes it so much easier to understand. I trust your opinion. Being in Palm Coast Florida, I appreciate your time and effort nd the way you convey the message. I hope you start posting more than at night! We need it!

    • Yrral says:

      Widespread damage in Marsh Harbour, fire station has sustained lost of structure integrity, think what happened to homes and other structures ,I am not a meteorologist, but I know if lots of other islands are losing pressure the eyeball is expanding

  • Anonymous says:

    Excellent Analysis Levi! Thank you!

    God Speed Florida and S.E. America!

  • ed says:

    Great commentary. An extremely in-depth look at the nuances of predicting this storm’s path.

  • Norris says:

    Solid analysis. The rather sudden intensification process is unmistakable. The convection looks tighter, the wind speeds have increased and the superstructure of the eye wall appears to have dramatically taken a much more organized form. This undoubtably represents strengthening and is confirmed with a drop in the central pressure to 950mb with 125 MPHwinds and hurricane force winds now extending 30 miles out from its center.

    The hurricane does appear to be a bit squashed in the north to south dimension as its full development in the southern quadrants appears to be impeded,…perhaps by windshear and dryer air. The low pressure system currently in the Midwest and moving east will have a increasing chance to weaken the Bermuda high in the coming 24-36 hrs and cause it to retreat. As the hurricane’s forward motion stalls with an absence of predominant steering,…this certainly brings about the POSSIBILITY that it may move north before reaching the coast and keep the eyewall offshore but it is too early to know that for certain, but II agree the potential for a strong category 4 or even a 5 tropical cyclone is there ! Also remember that an eyewall (even 30 miles off the coast at this point) will still expose the coast to hurricane force winds.

  • J.Hough says:

    Thank you so much for your rational explanations. Stay safe yourself! I am in Ocean City, MD and you are my go to source for tropical updates.

  • Harry Kane says:

    Hi Levi, Thank You. What is the reasoning in having the southern most of Fl. and the Keys in the cone? What could cause the storm to proceed sw? Seems like all forces are wanting to push it north

    • Joseph Brown says:

      Models are just that models. Hence why is stated to always go by official forecasts because the atmosphere is constantly changing and just because a model says something is going to happen does not mean it is going to happen that way its a computerized theory. A highly intelligent one, but in some cases a flawed one as well. As Levi said one little change is all it takes to change the entire thing track and all. Prepare for the worst and be wrong is always better than being skeptical and paying the price

  • Justin says:

    Appreciate your realistic take, factual and logical while also imparting the seriousness without fearmongering. Mad respect, Levi

  • HonusW says:

    As someone living in Melbourne, FL I can’ thank you enough for the efforts you put into this. Literally this is critical info to know the variability of this situation. I hope you work weekends!!
    You have found your calling sir, I hope you are being handsomely rewarded for your efforts too.

  • David R. Crockett says:

    Great analysis of the steering currents and explanation of the shifting forecast tracks. Thanks for the info.

  • BeachFoxx says:

    Thank you Levi!

  • Paul Martel says:

    This is the most comprehensive and realistic analysis of a hurricane that I have ever seen. I think that this work is the result of experience, knowledge, and hard work. Thank you for making this available to an amateur weather observer like me. Most of my seventy-two years on the planet has been partly occupied by observing the weather in general and in particular storms like this which affect us here in Louisiana. I was a little kid when Hurricane Audrey devastated Cameron. I remember keeping an eye on our new black and white TV and checking what now seems sparse information as the storm approached. I remember standing on our front porch watching the clouds race by overhead as the wind gradually picked up. There was a very large tree across the gravel street which towered up to the sky. I remember wondering if it would come crashing down on our house. In the end, a large part of that tree was blown down onto the street. High winds and torrential rains knocked down limbs and branches which tangled up in power lines. We were out of power for a couple of weeks in the heat and humidity of early summer; however, at that time we didn’t have airconditioning and were used to the heat.

  • Really enjoy your explanations of storm development and the mechanisms behind steering patterns. It’s detailed, easy to follow and understand. Thank you so much for what you do!

  • Mike says:

    This is an absolutely phenomenal video. Thank you Levi.

  • There Is No Spoon says:

    Levi, your analysis is always comprehensive and well-reasoned. Thank you for taking the time to cover the various subtleties in great detail. It’s refreshing that you keep both clickbait and sensationalism out of the equation.

    A couple of points I’d like to bring up that can also have an impact on Dorian down the road:

    1) If Dorian stalls for any length of time, there is the potential for upwelling which dredges up colder water from below and can act as a weakening mechanism.

    2) The most dangerous part of the storm is the northeastern quadrant (relative to the axis of movement). Any movement north while paralleling of the coast offshore would keep the most dangerous sectors of the storm over water. Hurricane Matthew, albeit a weaker storm, behaved exactly this way and spared much of the Florida coast from more severe damage.

    3) Land interaction: the longer Dorian sits near Florida, the greater the chance for disruption due to drier air entrainment from flow over land. Florida is a relatively narrow peninsula, so this effect would not be as great versus Dorian remaining stationary near GA or SC.

    4) As you saliently point out, the angle of incidence at landfall (assuming it makes landfall) is critical. Even a few degrees of difference upon final approach can produce major track differences 200 miles downstream. Weather models have neither the resolution nor enough environmental sampling inputs to render difference-making microscale features with reliable precision.

    Hopefully Dorian stays a fish storm and spares Florida and the Bahamas the worst of its wrath.

  • Anonymous says:

    As always, thank you, Levi! Greatly appreciate your posts and commentary.

    Just subscribed on Patreon. I hope you’re getting enough $$ to keep doing this for a long time.

  • Joseph says:

    What was told to me by my ancestors, is coming true. Labor Day Hurricanes are horrible.

  • HugeDong says:

    So you say it’s curving out to sea….? Great news!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have never heard such an easy to understand explanation of severe weather conditions. Thank you!

  • Marla says:


    Thank you for tropical tidbits and
    sharing all your knowledge, by far the best!☺️

  • Nikki says:

    Thank you so much for this in-depth analysis. You have such a great way of explaining all the nuances. I’m in North Broward and when the 11 PM advisory came out they were making it seem like we are in the clear for a direct hit. It gets frustrating trying to figure out if it’s going to hit or not and now I understand why it’s so difficult to pin-point. Looking forward to tomorrow’s video.

    Stay safe everyone!

  • Daniel Olesen says:

    The main lack of rainfall on the east coast is from Melbourne, Fla. to Savannah, Ga and then a larger area near Fairfax and Allendale, SC at a mere 30 inches. Meanwhile, offshore eastward from Cape Lookout Lighthouse the precipitation is at over 100 inches in quite a large area as noted on 365 day previous rainfall totals at AHPC. This discrepancy is quite large at 70 inches. Otherwise, rainfall totals are more uniform in the east except for areas near Michigan and New York that are lower, once again near 30 inches. A difference also in a smaller area north of Atlanta is at over 100 inches, as are other areas near Houston and New Orleans. I would see a barrier to highest rain totals in the areas at over 100 inches. However the higher rainfall areas coming up could radiate outward from the higher totals, while lower totals near 30 inches could have a violent upswing in rain. Thank you.

  • Daniel Olesen says:

    Midnight GFS is in.

  • Daniel Olesen says:

    The Euro is in west of the GFS. So the consensus for Florida, is coast or inland based on overall Euro history. Butterflies must be changing things a bit.

  • Daniel Olesen says:

    Actually the Euro is off the Florida coast like the GFS at this run.

  • Mark says:

    Hope this eastward shift continues for us here in Melbourne and the entire east coast.

  • Wendy says:

    I am in Titusville so this latest turn of events gives me a sigh of relief. Thank you!

  • Winston Mathews says:

    The “Mystery Meter” of hurricane wind speed always indicates higher velocities than those verifiable by the common man. Dorian can be measured on at a maximum of 50 knots while the “authorities” are saying 145 mph. When Dorian passes near weather stations or weather bouys, the same unexplained variance can be observed. It is historically true and will continue to be so. It reminds me of the line from I Love Lucy, “Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes?”

    Can you explain?

    • Anonymous says:

      The category is based on the maximum 60-second sustained wind anywhere (at ground level) in the hurricane. Typically that’s in the eyewall on the leading side (where the circular motion is in the same direction as the storm motion).

      Except in that one special spot, for those particular minutes, the wind speed will be lower. Elsewhere in the eye, slightly lower. Outside the eye, significantly lower. If the eye does not pass over an anemometer, it will not see maximum winds.

      It’s a real wind speed, but any particular stationary observer near the hurricane has a very small chance of encountering it.

  • Anonymous says:

    The last few minutes of the analysis was a bit alarmist in regards to South Florida. The 8:00 am advisory this morning has us outside the cone. Guidance to wait and watch that advisory would have been more appropriate. Since you are such a trusted and valued source that information was quite disturbing, especially since the time to react would have been very short from stall over Bahamas until landfall and since TS conditions would have been in place.

    Please consider this as constructive criticism as it was intended.

    • Anonymous says:

      Telling people to be prepared in regards to a dangerous hurricane I would not consider alarmist.

    • Anaya says:

      The headline clearly states the time of his analysis — this one is from Friday night, not this morning (Saturday). Levi is amazing and he calls it like he sees it at the time of his post – you can’t blame him for not predicting the future!

  • Anaya says:

    Levi, just another voice expressing appreciation for what you do and your clear explanations. My eyes do gloss over at the word “milibar” but other than that you make it easy to understand. I don’t know what you do in your day job, or where you got your training, but YOU are my weatherman!

  • Jason says:

    Appreciate your website, Levi. Truthfully, I thought you were just another “hack” on the internet during IRMA, but when you were getting into the analysis, breakdown, and all of that good stuff with IRMA, I was like, “I know when I stand corrected!” You sir….you corrected me! I always look forward to your analysis. Thank you!

  • Daniel Olesen says:

    Alas. The GFS shifted west again, probably by a good 30 miles right after the NWS Hurricane Center update forecasting an eastern shift. This storm has a history of surprises. The center missed Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico(however dangerous rains came late on the south side).

  • Daniel Olesen says:

    The EURO is coming in and shifted south and quicker west on the first 48. 72 hr yet to come in.

  • Anonymous says:

    Awesome insights! It would be great to hear from you more than once a day…

  • Anonymous says:

    I wish the talking heads on media would stop trying to pinpoint it because it makes the public confused about preparation and instead they should just leave the warning up for the entire state of FL so that when in case it doesn’t turn in time and possibly hits South FL hard people are battened down and ready. I feel like these experts are setting themselves up for a colossal mistake by predicting this turn away

  • Bmh4796 says:

    This is yesterday’s post by Levi. So are all the possibilities he mentioned still REALLY in play, or can we rule SOME out? People in Ft. Lauderdale are celebrating at bars saying they’re in the clear. Are they? I know they weren’t during this post, but that was yesterday. Are some people now in the clear?

  • Daniel Olesen says:

    As the storm moves toward Abaco, let’s all practice pronouncing Alaska for Mr. Levi Cowan! Alaska

    uh – l ah s – k ah

    Seriously, let’s remember to go higher to safer ground and turn around, don’t drown.

    Thank you Levi.

  • Anonymous says:

    NAVGEM as of 1500 Hrs 8/31 has it sitting on Browards coast and pushing water for two days

  • Norris says:

    This is starting to look like a possible Cape Fear Hurricane, especially after the forecasted stall out over the northern Bahamas and the retreat of the Bermuda High due to eastward moving Low pressure,….what do you think Levi ?

  • Wyatt says:

    Will this become a category 5?

    • Norris says:

      With less shear in its immediate proximity and plenty of deep warm water in front of it the eyewall is popping out with an easily visible “stadium effect”…further strengthening is also confirmed by how tightly and uniformly the inner core bands are wrapped around the central convection…noting these physical characteristics,……it has become a “beautiful” textbook tropical cyclone….if that term can be applied to a merciless destruction machine.

      As of 5pm the max sustained wind speed now is 150 MPH and central pressure has dropped to 945mb,…..I would not at all be surprised if this is upgraded to Category 5 over the next 12 hrs. Let’s hope it moves away from populated land masses as soon as possible as it hold the post entail for massive destruction.

  • Danielle Hollywood says:

    Looks like models are inching back to Florida?

  • Laine says:

    Levi! I’d love to hear from you today! Interesting reports and models today. Please!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I have grave concerns that all this talk about it turning away have made people in South Florida tune out.

  • Daniel Olesen says:

    Yes Danielle. Believe it or not, the 1800 GFS edged toward Fla. again. This is like science fiction.

  • Daniel Olesen says:

    In fact I just rechecked the 1200 and 1800 GFS and it is a more dramatic change west, at this point, than one might expect. Big thing we all like big (ice cream) cones.

  • Joseph says:

    My ancestors always talked about the Labor Day Hurricanes being bad. Florida needs to watch this with nervous eyes. Hurricanes don’t turn fast, they wobble, and turn slowly. This could be a Cat 5, or Cat 4 at landfall with the winds, but the tidal surge will be a Cat 5 anyways, no mater what, a hurricane pushes, and pulls water ashore for 40 miles.

  • Anonymous says:

    Where’s the expert when we need him!

  • Jim C says:

    This is some of your best work Levi!

  • Larry Butler says:

    First class coverage. Thank you! I also watch from the excellent met dept at Plymouth State College in Plymouth, NH. Another first class source and data concentrator for it all.

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