LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With a few different areas to watch now in the Atlantic including a tropical wave in the Gulf, it should come as no surprise seeing as how we are now entering the peak of tropical activity in the Atlantic basin that things are becoming very active.
First to address Major Hurricane Dorian, downgraded slightly as of the 10:00 a.m. Monday advisory with winds of 155 mph, making the hurricane technically a category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The storm continues to remain nearly stationary over Grand Bahama Island near Freeport, moving west at 1 mph.
The storm continues lashing its fury through at least the next 24 hours over Grand Bahama Island, destroying the entire island with 200 mph wind gusts and a storm surge over 20 feet with destructive waves on top of that. Those on the island are advised to no venture outdoors with many flooded and trapped in what’s left of their flooded dwellings as of publishing this story.
An expected eventual turn to the northwest is expected over the next couple of days with prolonged impacts along the eastern coastline of Florida through at least Wednesday before moving closer to the Georgia and eventually South and North Carolina coastlines by Thursday and Friday as still potentially a major hurricane. Interests in those mentioned areas should pay attention to local media outlets for the latest storm specific information. Dorian will have no local impacts to our weather in the Gulf.
Speaking of the Gulf of Mexico, a disturbance over the central Gulf continues to push toward the west away from Louisiana but could be in close enough proximity to bring at least one or two showers for coastal parishes this afternoon. This area was responsible for the downpours that moved through parts of the area on Sunday as continues to move farther from our area resulting in even fewer showers today. The National Hurricane Center has this area highlighted with a slight chance of tropical formation before moving WSW into Mexico by mid-week.
A tropical wave over the Central Atlantic closer to Bermuda is also highlighted for potential tropical formation but is moving toward the north and will remain to seas.
The area that has the greatest chance of tropical formation in the near term is located near the Cabo Verde Islands off the coast of Africa and will likely be upgraded to a tropical depression or named storm this week. The good news with this system is that it will move toward the NW and remain out over the open waters of the Atlantic, with a steering track that would keep the storm out to sea.
It’s that time of year that we have to pay attention to the tropics on a daily basis and at times even more often that that when a storm threatens, so don’t let your guard down even though there is currently no threat looming over Southwest Louisiana for the next couple of weeks. Our biggest issue locally will be the building heat as a dome of hot high pressure sends temperatures soaring into the upper 90s each afternoon through the upcoming weekend.
First Alert Meteorologist Ben Terry