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Hurricane Dorian could track Georgia coast
Accuweather Dorian 9 a.m. Saturday

With an inland push across the Florida Peninsula now unlikely, the risks of damage related to wind, coastal flooding and rainfall will increase in parts of Georgia and the Carolinas from dangerous Hurricane Dorian later next week.

Changing conditions surrounding Dorian, most notably a pair of non-tropical storms from the Midwest will pull on the hurricane in such a way to allow it to track along the Georgia and Carolina coasts.

The first Midwest storm is likely to give Dorian a northward nudge from Monday to Wednesday. A second storm from the Midwest is expected to pull Dorian northeastward from Thursday to Saturday.

It is possible that Dorian takes a similar track to that of Matthew in 2016, where the hurricane may brush or bounce along the immediate coast of the southeastern United States.

However, all hurricanes and their track are different, no matter how similar they appear due to infinitely different weather conditions from one storm versus the next. Matthew traveled northward between Cuba and Hispaniola, while Dorian traveled northward across the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Brief landfall or brush of the outer eye wall along the capes cannot be ruled out from Cape Canaveral, Florida to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Dorian will spend the majority of the Labor Day weekend at Category 4 strength with some fluctuation between Category 5 and 3 intensity possible. A Category 4 hurricane is very dangerous, and has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph to 156 mph.

Dorian is likely to weaken as it makes a north, then northeastward turn near the coast, due to frictional effects and increasing southwesterly wind shear.

Although, the duration of impacts are likely to be such to have the AccuWeather RealImpact™ Scale for Hurricanes with Dorian to remain a Category 4 as it moves northward along the Carolina coast.

While the increasing wind shear is likely to increase the forward speed of Dorian, a significant period of high winds, coastal flooding, battering waves and heavy rain is in store from southeastern Georgia to the southeastern portions of South Carolina and North Carolina.

Hurricane-force winds are likely on the barrier islands, as well as locations along the immediate coast of the mainland.

People along the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas should be prepared for widespread power outages with downed trees and some property damage that a Category 1 to 3 hurricane would inflict. This means that gusts ranging from 74 mph to 129 mph can occur.

"Because of the initial slow-moving nature of the hurricane, seas and surf will build days ahead of the storm's arrival," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Rob Miller.

People spending time at the beach ahead of the storm this weekend and into early next week should anticipate building surf with an increasing risk of strong rip currents from Georgia to North Carolina.

"Coastal flooding is likely to occur and build with each high tide cycle well in advance of the storm, perhaps by two days or more ahead of tropical-storm winds," Miller said.

Some of the barrier islands may be shut off for a time as roads close.

At the very least, some low-lying access roads on the barrier islands and western shorelines of the bays and harbors may go under water," AccuWeather Meteorologist Tiffany Fortier said.

Cities such as Charleston, South Carolina, which are vulnerable to flooding, should expect flooding from this storm situation. The city recently experienced flooding during the king tides in lieu of any storm and mere effects from the new moon.

Areas that typically get flooded during the approach of a hurricane should expect the same conditions.

The long-duration event, lasting days, will cause considerable wear and tear to the beaches in the region.

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