A week ago, little-known Tropical Storm Dorian was churning across the Atlantic with maximum winds of 50 mph.
By Labor Day, it had become Hurricane Dorian, a monster breaking the record for the most powerful storm ever to make landfall in the Atlantic and the second-most powerful storm ever recorded.
At 8 a.m. ET Monday, the storm was about 120 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida, with alerts posted from Florida through the Carolinas, according to the National Hurricane Center. Although forecasters spoke generally of the storm moving north or northwest, they cautioned that with hurricane-force winds extending 45 miles from its eye, the danger zone was wide and not narrow.
President Donald Trump on Monday retweeted the most recent projections for impacts to the Carolinas in an effect to encourage preparations.
Tropical-storm-force winds are mostly likely to start in Georgia early on Wednesday, in South Carolina late Wednesday, and in North Carolina early Thursday. Follow the latest #Dorian forecast at https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/WjJzaNFncj
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 2, 2019
On Sunday, the storm slammed the Bahamas with win gusts that reached 220 mph. Although the storm hit the Bahamas with winds at 185 mph — second only to Hurricane Allen, which had winds of 190 mph — the hurricane had weakened slightly to 165 mph as of Monday morning.
However, the storm was moving a 1 mph, which meant forecasters expected it would linger over Grand Bahama for as long as nine hours, CNN reported.
Here’s a look at what scientists call the “stadium effect” inside the eye of #Dorian from @NOAA scientists. This happens at times in very strong hurricanes. The latest forecast on Dorian is available at https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/Knv6w7nXP6
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 1, 2019
Part of its power is linked to the destructive beauty of what is known as the “stadium effect,” in which the eye of the hurricane looks like the bowl of a stadium, with walls of clouds towering around the eye, Fox News reported.
The “stadium effect” takes place when the storm sucks in air, which moves outward and upward from the core.
Aerial images show the bowl-like center of Dorian.
The pix taken by the @NOAA_HurrHunter leave me in awe. This is in the eye of #Dorian as they do the lifesaving of work of flying into the storm to offer better forecasting. This is called the “stadium effect” and is reserved for the most well-formed and dangerous hurricanes. pic.twitter.com/eDnFoSlQ3v
— Justin Michaels (@JMichaelsNews) September 1, 2019
Cameras outside the International Space Station captured intense category 5 Hurricane #Dorian this morning from 260 miles above the Bahamas. Look in the eye and you can see the classic “Stadium Effect”. Video courtesy of @NASA. #scwx #ncwx pic.twitter.com/byX9o6oDok
— Ed Piotrowski (@EdPiotrowski) September 1, 2019
The “stadium effect” of the clouds surrounding #Dorian‘s eye cast a shadow around 12 miles long at 2PM PDT/5PM EDT. Using an estimate of the cloud tops, it would be possible to calculate the angle of the Sun at the time. It’s not often that a cyclone makes that possible. pic.twitter.com/VPIOvrfs3n
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) September 1, 2019
INSIDE THE EYE OF HURRICANE DORIAN – Views of the “stadium effect” eyewall from #NOAA42 “Kermit” inside the eye of Hurricane #Dorian earlier today. Forecasts and advisories at https://t.co/3phpgKMZaS, preparation tips at https://t.co/ZUC1oGAvw6 #FlyNOAA (credit Ian Sears, NOAA) pic.twitter.com/gu8rCmVAbO
— NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (@NOAA_HurrHunter) September 1, 2019
Despite its beauty from above, at ground level the storm brought death and destruction.
— Vernal Cooper (@Vernal0) September 1, 2019
Ingrid McIntosh reported that her grandson was killed in the storm and her granddaughter is missing after the hurricane hit Abaco Island in the Bahamas
McIntosh said her daughter told her that she found the body of her son, who she believed drowned in the rising waters.
“All I can say is that my daughter called from Abaco and said that her son — my grandson — is dead. That’s it. I don’t know what really happened. I think she said he drowned,” McIntosh said.
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