Hurricane Dorian is strengthening in the Atlantic Ocean and is whipping out winds of 105mph, making it a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. The intense storm is moving towards Florida’s east coast, where it is expected to make a direct hit later this week. The last hurricane to hit the east coast of Florida was Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
The tropical storm is forecast to make landfall in the Sunshine State late this weekend.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said: “Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday and remain an extremely dangerous hurricane through the weekend.”
In addition, the risk of life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds this weekend continues to increase.
NOAA warned Dorian will most likely intensify into a major Category 4 hurricane during the next few days.
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The latest forecast said: “There is still substantial middle- and upper-level dry air on the south side of the hurricane, as shown by tonight’s G-IV mission, which has been allowing only slow strengthening during the day.
“As Dorian turns west-northwestward, however, shear should drop somewhat due to it moving on the northeast side of an upper-level low near the Florida Straits, and the winds aloft will no longer be pointed toward the core, which will help decrease dry air entrainment.
“All these changes should promote intensification while Dorian moves over the 29C waters east of Florida, so the intensity forecast is raised from the previous one, consistent with the corrected-consensus guidance.
“Unfortunately, I don’t see any large-scale factors that would prevent Dorian from becoming an extremely dangerous category 4 hurricane during the next few days.”
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Hurricane watches are expected to be issued on Friday for Bahamas, where Dorian is tracking towards ahead of its journey to Florida.
Although NOAA adds it’s too early to determine exactly where Dorian will make landfall, the spaghetti models continues show a more narrow tracking cone.
Regardless of the exact track of Dorian, heavy rains are expected to occur over portions of the Bahamas, Florida, and elsewhere in the southeastern US this weekend and into the middle of next week.
Currently, Hurricane Dorian is located 295 miles (470km) east-northeast of the southeastern Bahamas and 580 miles (930km) east of the northwestern Bahamas.
A west-northwestward to westward motion is forecast to begin by Friday night and continue into the weekend.
On this track, Dorian should move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern and central Bahamas tonight and on Friday, approach the northwestern Bahamas on Saturday, and move near or over portions of the northwest Bahamas on Sunday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles (35km) from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165km).
Swells are likely to begin affecting the east-facing shores of the Bahamas and the southeastern US coast during the next few days.
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