Hurricane Dorian Arrives Friday Night: Here’s What to Expect

There will be heavy rainfall, building surfs, and wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour.

Screenshot via NWS Boston

Just days after Hurricane Dorian brought heavy rain, wind, and tornados to the Bahamas, Florida, and the Carolina coast, the storm is now making its way up the Atlantic coast—toward us. Dorian is expected to pass Massachusetts by Friday night into early Saturday morning as a Category 1 hurricane, according to the National Weather Service Boston.

However, there’s no need to panic. As you can see in this rendering from the National Hurricane Center, the storm is projected to drift away from the coastline as it travels north, passing about 120 miles east/southeast of Nantucket. This means that the impact of the storm will likely be greatly lessened, says Kim Buttrick, a meteorologist at the NWS.

“Boston will get some rainfall,” she says. “However, the main threat will be across the Cape and Islands and the adjacent waters.”

Year-round Cape and Islands residents might notice that the weather tonight and tomorrow feels like a warm-weather nor’easter, with rough surfs, heavy rain, and wind. The strongest wind gusts, due to arrive sometime between midnight tonight and 8 a.m., are expected to run about 40-60 mph. Buttrick warns that this storm is most dangerous to mariners due to these winds and the building seas, and that ferry travel to and from the islands may be disrupted.

As for Bostonians, it looks like Hurricane Dorian will probably just cause a soggy start to the weekend. The city is projected to see showers Friday night into Saturday morning, followed by clear skies on Sunday.

Essex and Plymouth counties, however, should take note of the high surf advisory in place on the coast from this afternoon until tomorrow morning. While the ocean is arguably at its coolest during a storm, Buttrick warns that, with the building surf, it only takes one rogue wave to knock you down and pull you into the water.

“It’s great to view Mother Nature,” Buttrick says, “but view it at a distance.”