The most powerful tropical system of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane season thus far made landfall in the Bahamas Sunday. The National Hurricane Center in Miami declared landfall at 11:40 a.m. CT along Elbow Cay. At the time, the Category 5 hurricane had maximum sustained winds of 185 mph and wind gusts around 220 mph.
Dorian is the second strongest hurricane on record. Its wind speeds fell just 5 mph shy of the record for the strongest hurricane title held by Hurricane Allen in 1980 which had maximum sustained winds of 190 mph.
Hurricane Dorian has tied the 1935 Labor Day hurricane for strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record in the Atlantic Basin.
As of 9 p.m. CT, Hurricane Dorian was still considered a powerful Category 5 hurricane with winds as strong as they were at landfall Sunday morning: 185 mph.
Dorian is creating what the National Hurricane Center is calling “life-threatening conditions” in the Bahamas, excessively strong winds, storm surge above 20 feet and intense rainfall.
The 9 p.m. CT advisory from the National Hurricane Center still features a curve of the forecast track. Dorian will likely lose its Category 5 status by Tuesday, weakening further as it curves up the Florida, Georgia, North and South Carolina coastlines. A mid-level air pattern will help steer the hurricane north and east, as the current curvature of the forecast track shows.
In advance of possible local impacts, states of emergencies have been issued for all of Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. 12 counties near coastal Georgia are also under a state of emergency.