What do Star Wars, Rolling Stones and Hurricane Dorian have in common? Florida!
It’s a big weekend in Florida this Labor Day. Disney’s highly anticipated newest attraction, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, opened Thursday, August 29, the Rolling Stones were scheduled to be in Miami Saturday night for the final leg of their “No Filter” U.S. tour, Tim McGraw and Jason Aldean are jamming in Panama City Beach Friday through Sunday and the start of the college football season includes Boise State at Florida State Saturday night.
There’s also the opening of the Epcot International Wine and Food Festival starting Thursday, the Labor Day Home Show in Tampa Friday through Monday, the Key West Brewfest Friday through Monday and Tampa Bay Rays baseball games Sunday through Tuesday.
So, who invited this Dorian to the party?
Coming at the start of peak hurricane season, Dorian’s timing is hardly unusual. However, it is inauspicious considering this weekend is the 14th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the costliest hurricane to hit the United States, at $125 billion.
The good news for those attending several of the weekend’s events is that Dorian is currently expected near Florida from Sunday night into Tuesday, according to meteorologists.
That should leave the Stones, who rescheduled their concert for second time to Friday night, and Florida State’s football game in the clear. Mick and the boys have already dealt with one hurricane this tour, with their stop in New Orleans in July postponed for a day by Hurricane Barry.
“Conditions are such that steady intensification of Hurricane Dorian is likely, with rapid intensification possible as the storm passes to the east of the Bahamas,” said Expert Senior Meteorologist Dan Kottlowski Thursday morning.
“We expect Dorian to make landfall as a major hurricane, specifically, a Category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale sometime Monday. A landfalling Category 4 hurricane would have the potential to bring widespread power outages with significant and potentially catastrophic wind damage to structures near the point of landfall. Devastating storm surge flooding would occur along the coast near and to the north of where the system moves onshore. Flash flooding will be a threat over a larger portion of the Florida Peninsula and into the Southeast.”
The Disney and Epcot openings, as well as the concerts, brewfest and shows still face uncertainty because of Hurricane Dorian. As of Thursday morning, there have been no cancellations of events. Walt Disney World has closed only seven times in its history, with the most recent being for Hurricane Irma in 2017.
One big concern the meteorologists have at this point is whether Dorian tracks westward into Florida or slows before reaching the coast and makes a turn to the north. If Dorian does slow and turns to the north, according to the meteorologists, impacts in the Carolinas would be much more significant, while Florida would be spared from major damage. A very small fluctuation in the overall weather pattern will have a large influence in where Dorian ultimately tracks.