Dorian is now a hurricane

Saturday, 31 Aug, 2019

Hurricane Dorian, which has sustained winds of 80 mph as of 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, appeared to be on target to slam Puerto Rico head on, but it shifted north at the last hour and dumped rain over both the U.S and British holdings of the Virgin Islands.

Dorian isn't now likely to strengthen into the sort of fearsome cyclones that recently ravaged Puerto Rico and other islands, but it still poses a threat to vulnerable areas because of heavy rains and high winds.

Cities including St. Augustine through the Keys on the east coast and Homosassa Springs through Everglades City on the west coast are in the forecast cone.

According to the NHC, tropical storm conditions are expected and hurricane conditions are possible in Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, and the US Virgin Islands Wednesday.

In St. Lucia, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet said "we are expecting the worst" and announced that everything on the island of almost 179,000 people would shut down Monday evening ahead of the storm, but it remained below hurricane strength early Tuesday. It is moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour, with maximum-sustained winds of 50 miles per hour.

"Heavy rains are expected to occur over portions of the Bahamas and Florida later this week and into early next week", officials said.

But it could impact more than just the Caribbean: By the end of the week, what's left of Dorian is expected to move toward the Bahamas and southeastern parts of the mainland US.

"Nearly all of the intensity models show Dorian becoming a hurricane in about two days, with additional strengthening beyond that time", the hurricane center said in its morning forecast discussion on Wednesday.

Environment and Climate Change Canada is expecting what will likely be post-tropical storm Erin to impact Nova Scotia on Thursday. The vast majority of the computer models forecast this scenario, but a few of the models forecast a weak trough over the Ohio Valley to disrupt the steering ridge.

"Bottom line: Dorian is intensifying albeit slowly", reported the South Carolina State Climate Office on Wednesday.

Watch live satellite tracking of Hurricane Dorian.

The storm's center is forecast to approach the east-central region of Florida on Sunday or Monday, on Labor Day weekend, possibly as a Category 2 hurricane.

Hurricane Dorian turned southward overnight, with its track as of the morning of Thursday, Aug. 29, heading toward the Melbourne area, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Dorian is predicted to strengthen over the next several days as it moves across Atlantic waters. To see more, visit WUFT 89.1.