With peak winds of 175 mph, Hurricane Dorian is about as powerful as an Atlantic hurricane can get as the core of its strongest winds and most dangerous storm surge moves over the northwestern Bahamas.
These winds are the strongest so far north in the Atlantic Ocean east of Florida on record. Its pressure, down to 922 millibars, matches Hurricane Andrew’s when it made landfall in south Florida in 1992. Only six Atlantic hurricanes since 1950 have had stronger winds than Hurricane Dorian’s, three of which occurred since 2005.
A disastrous scenario is unfolding in the northern Bahamas, where the storm’s eyewall, the ring of destructive winds around the center, approached Sunday morning.
“The eyewall of catastrophic Hurricane Dorian is currently reaching the Abaco Islands,” the Hurricane Center wrote in a special bulletin. “This is a life-threatening situation. Residents there should take immediate shelter.”
The Center added the combination of wind gusts up to 200 mph and a storm surge of 15 to 20 would cause “extreme destruction.”
The storm is moving slowly toward Florida and the Southeast United States, but its exact track remains somewhat uncertain, with computer models shifting the storm slightly closer to the coast early Sunday compared with Saturday.
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