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Slow-moving Hurricane Dorian heads toward southeast U.S.

Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center in Miami, joins Hari Sreenivasan with updates and forecasts on Hurricane Dorian’s path.

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  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    For the latest on Hurricane Dorian and what to expect, I'm joined by Ken Graham, director for the National Hurricane Center at NOAA's National Weather Service Center in Miami.

    Thanks so much for joining us. So what's the latest that we have on the storm? We're talking Sunday afternoon now.

  • Ken Graham:

    I tell you, it's just an incredibly strong storm. We still got those high winds. We still got, you know, landfall, making two landfalls already over the Bahamas. Just a dangerous situation for the Bahamas. That slow movement means a prolonged period of time with those powerful hurricane force winds, and just torrential rainfall, up to 30 inches of rainfall, and also the storm surge for around the Bahamas. Some of these areas could get 18 foot, maybe even up to 23, 24 foot a storm surge. It's just very devastating life threatening situation.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    All right. So people on the United States mainland are concerned about how do we know where this is coming? Is there still room for it to come back in toward Florida? Does this go into Georgia or the Carolinas? How certain are we?

  • Ken Graham:

    This powerful storm like this, you get 185 mile an hour winds and just significant issues when you start slowing down a situation with this. So let's look at it for a second, especially on the timing, because it makes a difference in some of the track. This is 8:00 a.m. on Monday, that's 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, that's slow moving.

    We do expect that slow eventual turn towards the north. However, I really need everyone to focus on this cone because there could be some error with this and get a little bit of a wiggle, a little bit of a wobble, and they do that naturally that could impact the forecast down the road. So if you look at this cone you could still see a landfall in Florida. You can still see an eye, you know, the hurricane center being right on the coast there. So there's still a couple of solutions.

    But either way, no matter the solution, we will see impacts on the Florida coast.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    People like to talk about Category 4, 3 or 5. Basically a hurricane's a hurricane. It's going to do some damage, but is there a danger here that as it comes from the Bahamas towards the mainland, does it pick up more energy? Does it get faster?

  • Ken Graham:

    I think in this case you know a lot of people do focus on that and it's so important when we think of those categories. That's just the wind. So you have to talk about the impacts in addition to the wind. One of them is the storm surge. You know, this isn't, it really has nothing to do with the category.

    I mean, you can see slow storms, you can see large storms. It has to do with the characteristics of the storm. So when everyone's paying attention to the category, the reality is you still can get four to maybe even up to seven foot of storm surge in some areas in Florida. So really it's so important, despite the category, even if you see the category change, continue to listen to the impacts that we're issuing from the National Hurricane Center and across NOAA. This big team effort to get the information on the storm out.

  • Hari Sreenivasan:

    All right. Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, joining us from Miami. Thanks so much.

  • Ken Graham:

    You bet.

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