Hurricane Dorian shutters the outer banks of North Carolina

Hurricane Dorian, the storm that devastated the Bahamas and put much of the southeastern United States on edge, made landfall over the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday morning.

The center of the Category 1 storm passed over Cape Hatteras at 8:35 a.m. Friday while moving rapidly northeast and away from land, according to the National Weather Service. Cape Hatteras is part of the Outer Banks, a 175-mile-long strip of narrow barrier islands that are accessible only by bridges, boats or planes.

The storm previously wreaked catastrophic devastation in the Bahamas, killing at least 30 people, with others feared missing or dead. So far in the southeastern United States, at least four people have died while preparing for the storm, according to The Associated Press.

On Ocracoke Island, to the southwest of Cape Hatteras, Leslie Lanier was sheltering inside her boarded-up home, where she said she was “sick with worry” on Friday morning. There is a power outage impacting all of Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island, according to a tweet from Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative. The company said it serves over 7,000 customers on Hatteras Island. Crews will begin restoration effort when conditions improve, the tweet said.

By Thursday morning, September 5, Hurricane Dorian had dumped heavy rain on coastal South Carolina. An even greater accumulation of over 10 inches was occurring off shore along the path of Dorian’s inner core. In part because of Hurricane Dorian’s forward motion during the past two days, the recent rainfall totals have remained below the 36-inch accumulation observed when Dorian was stalled over the Bahamas.

NASA has the ability to estimate the rainfall rates occurring in a storm or how much rain has fallen. Rainfall imagery was generated using the Integrated Multi-satEllite Retrievals for GPM or IMERG product at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. These near-realtime rain estimates come from the NASA IMERG algorithm, which combines observations from a fleet of satellites in the GPM or Global Precipitation Measurement mission constellation of satellites, and is calibrated with measurements from the GPM Core Observatory as well as rain gauge networks around the world. The measurements are done in near-real time, to provide global estimates of precipitation every 30 minutes.

The storm-total rainfall at a particular location varies with the forward speed of the hurricane, with the size of the hurricane’s wind field, and with how vigorous the updrafts are inside the hurricane.

About Caroline Zawedde

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