GREENSBORO, N.C. — It's the strongest storm on the planet this year, and for three days, the monster beast Dorian hardly budged as it assaulted the Bahamas. 

When it hit Grand Bahama, it was a fierce category five, but by Tuesday morning, it had weakened to a category two as it crawled closer to Florida. Given the small size of the Bahamian islands, land interaction was no match for Dorian and did not help it slow down.


Is it true a hurricane can weaken without making landfall?


  • Meteorologist Terran Kirksey


Chilton said yes, it's true. 

"Basically, as a hurricane approaches land, the outer bands of the storm start to move over the terrain, and the friction of that slows down and disrupts the general flow of the hurricane," he explained.

Chilton said the friction weakens the entire system, little by little. Just how much the storm weakens depends on its strength before it moves ashore.


Yes, a hurricane can weaken without directly hitting land, and that is what is happening with Dorian as it gets closer to Florida.

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