SEPTEMBER – 49 YEARS AGO

1964 Dora Blog
The track of hurricane Dora’s eye, as depicted by the Daytona Beach Radar, is shown here. At 1 PM the National Hurricane Center’s 1PM Bulletin stated that the hurricane was centered 65 miles east northeast of St. Augustine and moving northwest at 12 mph.
Dora Sept 9 bulletin text
As Channel 4’s meteorologist, I was updating reports of the movement of Dora with live cut-ins. I noted that the Daytona Beach barometer readings were still falling and that the hurricane could not be east northeast of St. Augustine and moving northwest with falling pressures at Daytona and that it was still moving on a west northwesterly track toward St. Augustine.

This is an example of not focusing on the eye for the movement of a hurricane. The eye is merely the vortex core of a large rotating hurricane. From the radar track, you can see how it can wobble and loop in directions different from the direction of storm as a whole. After I broadcast this bulletin, most of our viewers lost power and had to keep track of Dora by battery-operated radio.

A few radio stations phoned me for updates, including one from distant Douglas, GA. Grady Norton was the first to forecast hurricane paths. He was Chief Hurricane Forecaster in Jacksonville in 1935 when the Center was located here. He became famous by forecasting the track of the 200-mph Labor Day hurricane that struck the Keys. His description of the chance of hurricane force winds for different Florida cities was published in Atlantic Hurricanes by Gordon Dunn. His chance for Jacksonville was for 1 in 50 years.

Next year will be the 50th anniversary of Dora, the only full-force hurricane to hit our area directly from the east.

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