4. Hurricane Dorian hits frightening speed
"With peak winds of 185 mph, Hurricane Dorian is the strongest storm on record to strike the Bahamas, and threatens to bring hurricane force winds, coastal flooding and other impacts to the east coast of Florida and Southeast U.S.," the Washington Post's Andrew Freedman and Jason Samenow report.
By the numbers: "Dorian ranks as tied for the 2nd-strongest storm (as judged by its maximum sustained winds) ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, behind Hurricane Allen of 1980, and tied with the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane for the title of the strongest Atlantic hurricane at landfall."
- "It’s also extremely likely to be only the second Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in the Bahamas since 1983, according to Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University. The only other is Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The international hurricane database goes back continuously only to 1983."
Why it matters: "A 'catastrophic' scenario is unfolding in the northwestern Bahamas, where the storm’s eyewall, the ring of destructive winds around the center, struck Sunday. ... In short, this is a storm that, depending on its exact track over the northern Bahamas, particularly Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands, could reshape these locations for decades."
- "'This is a life-threatening situation. Residents there should take immediate shelter. Do not venture into the eye if it passes over your location,' the Hurricane Center warned. Specifically, the storm is unleashing wind gusts over 220 mph, along with storm surge flooding of 18 to 23 feet above normal tide levels."
What's next: "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."
- "Florida may miss the full fury of this severe hurricane, but dangerous storm hazards are still possible. Coastal Georgia and the Carolinas also are at risk."
- "'[L]ife-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds are still possible along portions of the Florida east coast by the middle part of this week,' the Hurricane Center wrote."