After days of unleashing catastrophic impacts in the Bahamas and lurking near the east coast of Florida, Hurricane Dorian will pick up forward speed and make its way into the waters around the northeastern United States and Atlantic Canada late this week and this weekend.
This weekend the hurricane will be a shell of what it once was in the subtropics: The most intense hurricane in terms of wind on record for so far north over the Atlantic.
Dorian will be steered on a general accelerated path to the northeast late this week. An area of high pressure over the western Atlantic and the jet stream will be the main components for the increasing forward speed.
What will impact from Dorian be on the mid-Atlantic states?
Compared to what people experienced in the Bahamas, Dorian will be a drop in the bucket in the coastal Northeast, but there will be some impact.
Dorian is forecast to swing well east of the mid-Atlantic coast on Friday.
The overall size of the hurricane will grow and spread northward as the peak winds near the center diminish. This means that Dorian will have some impact from rain, wind and rough seas in the northeastern United States, even though the storm is likely to remain at sea.
Some disruptions to travel are likely with poor visibility for motorists and perhaps some airline delays along the coast.
Effects from the hurricane in the form of large swells are already making their way northward from the distant tropical cyclone.
Adding to the periodic swells have been and will continue to be occasional surges of northeasterly winds from areas of high pressure that move from the Midwest to off the New England coast. These onshore winds have been stirring up rough surf and strong rip currents at times.
For the mid-Atlantic coast, the surf will build through the end of this week and peak on Friday to Saturday. Episodes of coastal flooding at times of high tide are likely.
As the storm approaches and swings by the North Carolina coast, tropical storm conditions with wind and rain will push northward from southeastern Virginia to the Delmarva Peninsula and southern Virginia on Friday.
Gusts may get strong enough to break tree limbs and cause sporadic power outages in southeastern Virginia.
Some rain and breezy conditions are likely as far inland as Baltimore and Philadelphia. A stormy September day is likely in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and New York City.
"Rainfall of 3-6 inches is likely over southeastern Virginia with lesser amounts farther north along the mid-Atlantic coast," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dave Dombek.
The rain may come down at a fast enough pace to cause urban flooding. Areas around the lower part of the Chesapeake Bay, including the Norfolk, Virginia, area, that are prone to coastal flooding should expect some roads to go underwater from the combined effect of rain and storm surge.
The weather is forecast to dramatically improve from southwest to northeast across the mid-Atlantic region on Saturday.
Dorian may pass near Cape Cod, Massachusetts, then strike Nova Scotia, Newfoundland
There is the risk that Dorian turns northward enough to bring strong tropical storm to hurricane conditions on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, for a time from Friday night to Saturday.
"Rainfall of 2-4 inches is likely on Cape Cod and the islands with some urban-style flooding possible," Dombek said.
Some over wash of waves that often occurs during a nor'easter can be expected along the north- and east-facing shoreline.
The weather over southern New England will deteriorate on Friday with a driving rain in store from later Friday to Friday night.
People spending time at the beaches or in small craft should use caution, especially on Friday and Saturday. Dangerous seas and surf are likely with coastal flooding in areas with northern and eastern exposure to the water.
As a non-tropical storm moves across southeastern Canada this weekend, there is a significant chance that Dorian's track will become more northerly, rather than remain northeasterly. The non-tropical storm may capture Dorian and pull it toward land.
People from Nova Scotia to Newfoundland should expect strong nor'easter or hurricane conditions with battering waves, damaging wind gusts and flooding rainfall from Saturday to Sunday.
Cruise, fishing and shipping interests from the mid-Atlantic to New England and Atlantic Canada waters should monitor the track and strength of Dorian into this weekend.