Hurricane Dorian's possible path has taken a familiar northward turn, and the Category 4 monster may mirror the coast-hugging track of Matthew from 2016, according to Bryan Norcross, senior hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel from 2010-17.
But Dorian is moving more slowly — which could prove more dangerous to Florida, warns Norcross.
“As it stands right now, coastal Florida has got to be ready for storm surge exceeding Matthew. And higher winds than Matthew. And heavier rain than Matthew," Norcross said Saturday morning.
"Just be ready for that. We’re in a position where you’re talking three, four, five days in advance of what you have to be ready for," he said.
While residents should "think in Matthew terms," the storm could still come over the Florida Coast. “Florida is well within the cone. It’s not like on the fringe or something. And remember, the center only stays in the cone 2/3 of the time," Norcross said.
Norcross rose to fame as chief meteorologist at WTVJ-TV in Miami while reporting live as Category 5 Hurricane Andrew plowed a path of destruction across South Florida in August 1992.
The Miami Beach resident worked as CBS News hurricane analyst from 1996 to 2008. He is now hurricane specialist at WPLG-TV/Local 10 in South Florida, where he works with Max Mayfield, retired director of the National Hurricane Center.
As of 11 a.m. Saturday, Dorian had strengthened with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, the National Hurricane Center reported. The storm was centered about 415 miles east of West Palm Beach, moving west at 8 mph.
"Major Hurricane Dorian is a powerful & dangerous storm forecast to approach the east central FL coast Mon-Tue. Life-threatening impacts, (extreme winds, storm surge & flooding rain) remain a concern, especially for locations at the coast. ALL should be vigilant!" tweeted National Weather Service officials in Melbourne.
Dorian's cone of uncertainty shifted from Friday's projected direct-hit Florida landfall to a 90-degree curve northward, with the eye potentially remaining offshore until striking near the South Carolina-North Carolina border.
In October 2016, Matthew followed a similar south-to-north path just off the Brevard County shoreline, generating gusts topping 100 mph at Cape Canaveral AFS.
Matthew damaged more than 600 structures in Brevard and knocked out power for about 227,000 customers — roughly 75 percent of the county — the National Weather Service reported. A man in his 40s was injured when a falling sign struck him at Port Canaveral.
To the north, storm surge washed out State Road A1A in Flagler Beach and portions of St. Augustine flooded. Matthew later made landfall near McClellanville, South Carolina.
“Remember that Hurricane Matthew stayed offshore, and in some parts of the East Coast of Florida — St. Augustine, notably — there was significant coastal damage. And we are in a period now of astronomical high tides. So the water is starting out above normal," Norcross said.
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This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Hurricane Dorian: Be ready for storm like Matthew, forecaster warns