The eye of Hurricane Dorian has revealed just how powerful it really is.
Air Force and reconnaissance “hurricane hunter” planes used by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have been flying into the storm to gather data and photos.
“Here’s a look at what scientists call the ‘stadium effect’ inside the eye of #Dorian from @NOAA scientists. This happens at times in very strong hurricanes,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) wrote.
Here’s a look at what scientists call the “stadium effect” inside the eye of #Dorian from @NOAA scientists. This happens at times in very strong hurricanes. The latest forecast on Dorian is available at https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB pic.twitter.com/Knv6w7nXP6
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 1, 2019
The “stadium effect” makes the eye look like the inside of a sports stadium, and it is caused by plumes of rapidly-rising air going into the storm and moving away from its core, according to the Washington Post.
Dorian is now the strongest hurricane on record in the northwestern Bahamas. “Everyone there should take immediate shelter and not venture into the eye,” the NHC said. “These catastrophic conditions are likely on Grand Bahama Island later today or tonight, and efforts to protect life and property there should be rushed to completion.”
These photos provided by the National Hurricane Center shows Hurricane Dorian’s eye and the “stadium effect” (Paul Chang/National Hurricane Center)
At 5 p.m., the NHC said that Dorian is located over the Abacos Islands in the Bahamas and is 95 miles east of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island. It’s also located some 175 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida.
The storm has maximum sustained winds of 185 mph.
“A hurricane warning has been issued from Jupiter Inlet to the Volusia/Brevard County Line” in Florida, the NHC also wrote.
We’ve made it back home to Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi. Here’s a few photos from hurricane #Dorian
✈⛈🌪🌊 #ReserveCitizenAirmen #ReserveReady #403WG #WC130J #SuperHercules #WeatherReady #NWSNHC pic.twitter.com/3Erxlf4qUk
— Hurricane Hunters (@53rdWRS) September 1, 2019
A storm surge warning was also put in effect “from Lantana to the Volusia/Brevard County Line” in Florida, it said.
A hurricane watch is in effect from the “Volusia/Brevard County Line to the Flagler/Volusia County Line,” it said.
Hurricane warnings are still in effect for the northwestern Bahamas.
“It’s devastating,” said Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism and Aviation. “There has been huge damage to property and infrastructure. Luckily, no loss of life reported,” according to The Associated Press.
“Catastrophic conditions” were reported in The Abaco Islands, with a storm surge of 18-23 feet, and Dorian was expected to cross Grand Bahama later in the day “with all its fury,” the center said. The hurricane was moving to the west at 5 mph (7 kph).
The Associated Press contributed to this report.