The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency issued an updated statement Wednesday about potential local impacts this weekend as a result of Hurricane Dorian.
The Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, is currently located 90 miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Florida. Little change has occurred to the forecast for Dorian since Tuesday, and the storm is still expected to pass just offshore of the Florida, Georgia, and Carolina coasts, after which it will turn to the northeast and weaken as it travels off the eastern seaboard. If Dorian follows its current forecast track, it will pass about 140 miles southeast of Nantucket on Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 MPH.
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Uncertainty remains regarding Dorian’s track as it approaches the New England region, and the forecast may change significantly between now and this weekend. While an offshore track for Dorian is most likely, it should be noted that the average error over the past five years for forecasts at this time range is 90 miles.
If Dorian stays close to its forecast track, the following impacts are possible for the New England region:
• Rip currents and rough surf along ocean-exposed south-facing beaches starting late today and continuing into Sunday.
• Tropical storm conditions possible Friday night into Saturday for the Cape and Islands, with high winds, heavy rain, and storm surge.
• Very dangerous marine conditions in Massachusetts coastal waters Friday and Saturday, especially south and east of Nantucket.
The magnitude of wind and rain impacts will be highly dependent on Dorian’s exact track as it approaches the New England region. If it tracks further to the south and east than forecast, these impacts would be reduced.
Coast Guard update:
Based on National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center forecasts regarding Hurricane Dorian, the Captain of the Port, Southeastern New England, has set Port Condition WHISKEY. While ports in southeastern New England remain open to all commercial traffic, the following preparatory measure is effective immediately:
Owners, operators, or agents of all self-propelled oceangoing vessels over 500 GT and all barges and their supporting tugs must report their intention to depart or remain in port to the Coast Guard within 24 hours.
State and local operations:
The State Emergency Operations Center is currently operating at Level 1 (Steady State Monitoring). MEMA is continuing to monitor the progress of Hurricane Dorian and will disseminate a Situational Awareness Statement with updated forecast information by noon on Thursday.
How to stay informed:
Utilize MEMA’s real-time power outage viewer to stay informed about current power outages in your community and region, and across the state, including information from utility companies about restoration times: http://mema.mapsonline.net/public.html
Additional online resources:
Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency at www.mass.gov/mema
MEMA's Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/MassachusettsEMA
MEMA Twitter: @MassEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.fema.gov
National Weather Service Weather Prediction Center: www.wpc.ncep.noaa.gov/
National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center: www.spc.noaa.gov/
Northeast River Forecast Center: www.weather.gov/nerfc/
National Hurricane Center: www.nhc.noaa.gov
Mass211 at www.mass211.org