As Hurricane Dorian inches toward Florida with high winds and rain, southern states along the East Coast are also bracing for the storm’s impacts.
By the time is reaches southeastern Virginia, meteorologists forecast Dorian to be a Category 1 hurricane, delivering 2-4 inches of rain in many areas and up to 6 inches in select spots, National Weather Service Wakefield meteorologist Cody Poche said.
Eastern Virginia will experience tropical storm conditions as early as Thursday night and into Friday morning. Tidal flooding from the storm surge could occur along the coast, with “moderate to major” flooding in the Chesapeake area, he added.
“We have the potential to see heavy rain during those times,” Poche said.
The latest National Hurricane Center cone forecast for Dorian, released around 11 a.m. Tuesday, shows the center of the storm reaching southeastern Virginia after 8 a.m. Friday morning.
“It’s going to be moving pretty quick as it passes by us,” Poche said.
After Dorian passes Virginia, it will move out to sea. The cone forecast shows Dorian’s probable path staying offshore along the East Coast, eventually hitting Nova Scotia and Newfoundland Saturday and Sunday.
The specific impacts of tidal flooding and height of the floods will be better-known as the storm gets closer, Poche said.
Poche said the need for any evacuations will be determined by area emergency managers.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Monday as Dorian dumped rain and heavy winds on the Bahamas.
The declaration allows the state to mobilize extra resources, people and equipment. It also allows Virginia officials to coordinate planning and evacuation resources with North Carolina.
As far as other impacts, Poche said the likelihood of Dorian spinning off tornadoes in eastern Virginia is currently low.
“We’re not expecting many, if any, tornadoes with this one,” Poche said Tuesday.