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Dorian isn't moving because the upper atmosphere is too calm

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    This GOES-16 satellite image taken Monday, Sept. 2, 2019, at 16:40 UTC and provided by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Dorian, left, churning over Bahamas. Hurricane Dorian hovered over the Bahamas on Monday, pummeling the islands with a fearsome Category 4 assault that forced even rescue crews to take shelter until the onslaught passes. (NOAA via AP)

Published September 03. 2019 05:28AM

Powerful Hurricane Dorian has been going nowhere because nothing high up is making it budge.

It may sound strange when talking about a storm that once had 185 mph (298 kph) winds, but it's actually been too calm high in the atmosphere. While this has been horrible for the Bahamas, where the storm's pounding has been relentless, it may help spare Florida a bit, meteorologists said.
Usually the upper atmosphere's winds push and pull hurricanes north or west or at least somewhere. They are so powerful that they dictate where these big storms go.
But the steering currents at 18,000 feet (5,486 meters) above ground have just ground to a halt. They are not moving, so neither is Dorian.
After reaching record-tying wind speeds on landfall in the Bahamas, the storm just stalled. Its eyewall first hit Grand Bahama Island Sunday night, and 18 hours later part of the eye still lingered there, meteorologists said. The hurricane center late Monday called the storm "stationary" after several hours of crawling at 1 mph (1.6 kph).
"This is unprecedented," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director at Weather Underground who used to fly into hurricanes. "We've never had a Category 5 stall for so long in the Atlantic hurricane record."
What's happening — or more aptly, not happening — has been an ongoing battle between high pressure systems that push storms and low pressure systems that pull them.
A high pressure system in Bermuda has been acting like a wall, keeping Dorian from heading north. But a low pressure trough moving east from the Midwest has eroded that high and is trying to pull Dorian north. Those two weather systems "are fighting it out and neither is winning," Masters said.
There's just no flow pushing it anywhere. Think of it like a tiny paper boat or a pebble in a stagnant pond, which just doesn't move, said Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
Air — high off the ground and closer to where people live — is often stagnant in the summer and this is an extreme version of that, Masters said.
In 2017, Hurricane Harvey got stuck when steering currents collapsed, absolutely drenching Houston, but that wasn't as powerful a storm as Dorian, Klotzbach said.
Usually hurricanes that don't move eventually kill themselves because they churn up colder water from deep below the surface and storms need warm water as fuel, Masters said.
"It's got to keep moving," Masters said.
But the Bahamas and the Gulf Stream are one of the few places where warm water runs so deep. Stalling isn't as much of a death sentence there as elsewhere, but it will still weaken the storm a bit, which is good for Florida and the U.S. East Coast, Klotzbach said.
And the longer Dorian stalls in the Bahamas, the more the low pressure system has a chance to erode the high pressure and pull the hurricane north and away from Florida, Masters said.

From heaven, God hears our prayers. Faithfulness springs forth from the earth, and righteousness looks down from heaven. Thank God, as he controls the winds.
hehehh well you got religious nuts thinking if they pray enough they can stop the storm... so they think they are greater then your god.. both groups are delusional
hehehh and then there's former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell. She wished for Hurricane to make a "direct hit" on Trump's Mar-a-Lago.
Now why do you think this Canuck hates Trump?
Oh no, the storm is set to hit Alabama again!!
With lower taxes, more jobs, no war, and a strong stock market, the U.S. may be poised to maintain the economic boom started by Trump.
Come on Joe. As a CPA, you should be a numbers guy. There is absolutely no argument that having a businessman as President has made America better. If you are a business owner you should realize this. Many times before we listed the many direct reasons the economy is better...from lower taxes, reduced regulations, incentives to bring business back to America, increased consumer confidence,....blah, blah, blah. If you were true to the facts you would readily realize this. You hate Trump so much you are blinded. Keep it up.
He’s a bad businessman with a history of bankruptcy and lawsuits. I have never taken bankruptcy. Never once in my life has tax rate ever come into a decision to invest in business. Most deregulation hasn’t taken affect and it’s very narrow, like fit the coal industry.

Businessmen drive the economy, not presidents.
All wrong Joe. You hate President Trump so much you are paralyzed by him. Nothing to see here...Ha. You really must be an incompetent cpa if you can’t understand the obvious. Keep it up.
No, we the people drive the economy, not a president. Tax cuts can affect consumption short term but are not sustainable. Long term growth is us, the business leader.
Come on Joe. Consumer confidence is at a 20 year high. Certainly, as a cpa, you understand that the tone of leadership is set by the President. A pro business leader sets a tone that gives average citizens like you confidence to buy consumable and non-consumable products. Tax cuts are spent on additional products and they help the economy for as long as they are in place. Announcing additional tax cuts or extending existing tax cuts directly boosts the economy. In this manner they are sustainable. Keep it up Joe. You hate Trump so much you can not see straight.

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