Hurricane Dorian's eye is wobbling, but what does that mean?

See latest track, computer models, satellite image for Dorian

By Daniel Dahm - Digital Manager, Jonathan Kegges - Meteorologist

Hurricane Dorian satellite image.

ORLANDO, Fla. - The U.S. National Hurricane Center on Monday said the eye of Hurricane Dorian is "wobbling" over the Bahamas' northernmost island as it remains on a slow path toward Florida.

What, exactly, does it mean for a hurricane's eye to "wobble?"

News 6 meteorologist Jonathan Kegges said the eye of strong hurricanes tend to do this. 

"For example, Dorian is currently moving westward very slowly, but the storm could 'jump' north or south and then continue its westward motion. One of the reasons why everyone needs to pay close attention is because if Dorian wobbles west after it makes its turn north, it could run right into Florida," Kegges said.

If Dorian did that, impacts in the region would increase significantly.

"These wobbles are impossible to forecast," Kegges said. 

Hurricane Dorian track.

In 2004, Charley wobbled east and went south of its projected path, increasing Central Florida's impacts.

In 2016, Matthew wobbled east and never made a direct landfall in Florida.

"While it was extremely bad for the coast, it could have been worse if Matthew didn't wobble offshore," Kegges said.

Hurricane Dorian computer models.

Meanwhile, residents of Grand Bahama have been advised to remain in their shelters, as dangerous winds will pick back up once the eye passes.

As of 6 a.m. Monday, the center of the storm was about 35 miles east-northeast of Freeport on Grand Bahama and 120 miles east of West Palm Beach.

Top sustained winds remain at 165 mph, and the Category 5 storm continues to inch west at just 1 mph.

Dorian is expected to continue lashing the Bahamas on Monday before moving closer to the southeastern U.S. coast Monday night through Wednesday evening.

Hurricane Dorian satellite image.

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