As of Tuesday morning, Hurricane Dorian was taking a right turn tracking up the coast. Aviation has already taken some major hits. Some weather scientists were calling Dorian an unprecedented storm, as it essentially stalled over the Bahamas while maintaining its Category 5-level wind intensity.
The storm, which is currently rated as a Category 3—after its wind speeds diminished from the unimaginably horrifying to the garden-variety horrifying—is massive, and the southeast coastline of the United States is bracing for the potential devastation it’s packing. Dorian left a path of destruction in its wake, severely damaging infrastructure in the Bahamas, where officials are still assessing the damage. A number of people have been killed, and storm surges as high as 20 feet were reported.
In the United States, the storm’s current path will spare Florida a direct hit, but the sheer size of the storm and the amount of rain it’s producing will wreak havoc with coastal communities along the coasts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, forecasters warn. The storm is extremely slow moving, which could exacerbate flood impacts.
The Politico Morning Transportation newsletter reported on Tuesday morning that dozens of airports in the affected area are already closing down, and the FAA was warning drone pilots not to send their flying robots aloft unless they were part of the official emergency response team.
Pilots should take extreme care before flying anywhere in the affected area, which means double- and triple-checking weather forecasts, and then confirming those conditions right before you go, as storm conditions have been known to change unexpectedly and quickly.