Tropical Storm Watch Issued for 5 Md. Counties Due to Dorian

    As Hurricane Dorian churns east of the Georgia coast, the National Hurricane Center posted watches that extended up to the Chesapeake Bay. After battering the Bahamas and whipping Florida’s eastern seaboard with tropical storm-force winds, the storm is likely to turn north and stay over the Carolinas Thursday through Friday morning. Maryland may feel the effects of the storm late Thursday night into Friday, according to the forecast.

    Five Maryland counties — Dorchester, Somerset, St. Mary’s, Wicomico and Worcester —are under a tropical storm watch, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency reported after 5 p.m. Wednesday. A tropical storm watch means tropical storm conditions could occur within 48 hours. Tropical storm-force winds are defined as those 39 to 73 mph.

    The National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook for the Baltimore-Washington area before 4 p.m. Wednesday, stating damaging winds may hit northeastern and central Maryland Wednesday afternoon and evening, with more severe weather forecast in the days ahead.

    “Tropical storm-force winds and moderate tidal flooding will be possible Thursday night and Friday, especially along the extreme lower tidal Potomac and Chesapeake Bay waters south of North Beach,” according to the outlook, which applies to the Maryland portion of the Chesapeake Bay and adjacent counties. “Dorian is most likely to track near the North Carolina Coast Thursday night and then off the Mid-Atlantic Coast Friday.”

    Hurricane Dorian was churning at 8 mph north-northwest about 130 miles south of Charleston, S.C, the National Hurricane Center reported at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

    Classified as a category 2 hurricane, Dorian is still packing maximum sustained winds of 110 mph, days after it made landfall Sunday in the Bahamas as a category 5 storm at 185 mph.

    While the storm will likely weaken a bit, Dorian is expected to stay close to category 2 strength until it passes near or over North Carolina’s Outer Banks, according to Wednesday’s forecast.

    At least 20 deaths in the Bahamas have been attributed to Hurricane Dorian. Two people in Florida died preparing for the hurricane — a 55-year-old man fell trimming a tree and a 68-year-old toppled from a ladder while putting plywood on his windows, according to NBC, which also reported a 61-year-old Virginia man died swimming amid high rip currents in North Carolina.

    Dorian could drop 4 to 6 inches of rain in southeast Virginia and northeast North Carolina, with up to 8 inches possible over northeast North Carolina, officials said. Virginia’s Eastern Shore may get 3 to 5 inches. In all cases, heavy rainfall in a short period could lead to flash flooding.

    “The risk of wind and rain impacts along portions of the Virginia coast and the southern Chesapeake Bay are increasing,” officials advised Wednesday.

    Maryland may get heavy rain and strong winds late Thursday and Friday, particularly in the southeastern part of the state.

    Flash flooding will threaten the coastal mid-Atlantic on Friday, according to forecasters.

    To see the story by Elizabeth Janney as it originally appeared on Patch.com, click here

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