Since hitting the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm on Sunday, Hurricane Dorian has unleashed torrential rain and winds of up to 155 mph, and while it weakened to a Category 4 on Monday, it hasn't moved on, crawling toward the United States at just 1 mph.
Jeff Masters, the meteorology director at Weather Underground, told The Associated Press the steering currents at 18,000 feet above ground are too calm, and not pushing the hurricane in any direction. There is a high pressure system in Bermuda that is keeping Dorian from heading north, as well as a low pressure trough going east that is attempting to push Dorian to the north. These two systems are "fighting it out and neither is winning," Masters said.
With no airflow pushing Dorian in any direction, it is "stationary," the National Hurricane Center said. "This is unprecedented," Masters told AP. "We've never had a Category 5 stall for so long in the Atlantic hurricane record."
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Hurricanes need warm water to keep going, and storms that stall eventually dissipate because they keep churning up cold water from below the ocean's surface. Although the Bahamas and Gulf Stream are areas that have deep warm water, Hurricane Dorian should still weaken a bit, even if it doesn't get moving again.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.