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

(AP) — 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.

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Carmel Market District and Firefighter Tim go HEAD-TO-HEAD in a Chili cookoff!

It’s a battle of the chilis, all for a worthy cause.

In our kitchen this morning, Rick Hopkins, Director of Food and Beverage, Carmel Market District, and Tim Griffin, Firefighter/EMT/Public Information Officer, tell us about an event that features food, fire trucks and fun for the entire family!

Carmel Market District and Firefighter Tim go HEAD-TO-HEAD in a Chili cookoff!

• In celebration of National Chili Day (Feb. 27) , Carmel Market District and the Carmel Fire Department are going head-to-head in a chili cookoff!
• In the afternoon of Sunday, February 23, the foodie destination will compete against Carmel firefighters in the Battle of the Chili Bowls. Attendees will have the opportunity to sample the participating c`hilis with all sorts of delicious dippers – including cornbread – and vote for their winning bowl!
• The grand prize includes a donation made to the firehouse charity of their choice.
• Carmel Market District is heatin’ things up with its delicious, homemade chili recipes that are sure to keep Firefighter Tim on his toes! From cactus chili to white bean chicken, Market District has its eye on the prize for the Battle of the Chili Bowls!
• Attendees will have the opportunity to sample the participating chilis with all sorts of delicious sides and dippers, including cornbread, Crazy Charlie’s salsa and many more.
• In conjunction with National Chili Day, the store refuses to lose sight of another wonderful foodie day – National Margarita Day (Feb 22)!
• Whether you want to grab all the ingredients in-store, or stop into Table, Hoosiers can perfectly pair their warm cup of chili with a nice, cold margarita this weekend.

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https://www.facebook.com/CarmelFireDept/

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