Dorian is the fourth named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. It is headed for Puerto Rico this afternoon where we are writing this morning. In fact, some rain just started.
Origins of Dorian
Dorian began developing on August 23. It formed a closed circulation, characteristic of tropical cyclones, the next day.
The storm grew into a tropical storm as it passed Barbados and St. Lucia.
Yesterday Dorian was expected to pass between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Once it entered the Caribbean Sea, the storm shifted northward affecting Martinique.
The storm track is now a direct hit for Puerto Rico.
Is Puerto Rico Ready for Dorian?
The hurricane track follows the North Equatorial ocean current and trade winds which lead from West Africa directly to Puerto Rico. This is what made Puerto Rico important in the Colonial Era. The trade winds lead right here.
Without having experienced Hurricane Maria, or at least speaking with many Puerto Ricans who did, it is hard to understand the difficulty of what happened.
Immediately after Hurricane Maria, and for months after, there was no power which means no light, no water, no gasoline, no internet, no cell phone, no ATM, no cash register, no food distribution.
There was wreckage everywhere. Emergency and government services vanished. There was no help. The responders were knocked out too. Three million people were left to manage on their own as best as they could. Puerto Rico was suddenly blown into the Stone Age. This lush tropical island turned completely brown from the devastation.
Part of the problem is that Puerto Rico’s electrical grid was never strong. Looking at that spaghetti mess of wires, you wonder how it works at all. It took two years to get everyone back on line. Those were just quick repairs, not a reconstruction.
Many Puerto Ricans are still living in damaged homes under blue tarps. Even a small storm has a big impact.
This time, the Puerto Rican government says it is ready. Dorian isn’t as strong as Maria. It is a tropical storm. Maria was a Category 5 hurricane.
However, the electrical grid is still weak. We are writing this morning because we may be without power and flooded tonight. We expect to lose power.
The Puerto Rican people are not taking any chances. There has been a run on bottled water and supplies. There is no more water to buy. We are witnessing a little post traumatic stress syndrome.
At least the government and the people are preparing. Governor Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency on Monday and FEMA is actively engaged.
Dorian’s Expected Trajectory
On Wednesday morning, Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to pass over Puerto Rico this afternoon and night.
Back out over the Atlantic it is forecast to reach Category 1 Hurricane status.
Before it makes landfall in NorthEast Florida, the storm is forecast to become a Category 2 Hurricane. The storm is headed towards Orlando, Florida.
Going now to get some cash and look for water.