Tropical Storm Dorian is on track to slam into the US state of Florida later this week as it intensifies in the Atlantic Ocean. Dorian is currently heading towards the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, whipping 60mph winds. The life-threatening weather system is expected to bring tropical storm conditions to portions of the Lesser Antilles through Tuesday morning, where tropical storm watches and warnings are in effect.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the centre of Dorian is expected to move across the Windward Islands and into the eastern Caribbean Sea during the next several hours.
Tropical storm conditions are possible in Puerto Rico on Wednesday, where a tropical storm watch has been issued.
Warnings have also been issued for Martinique, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Dorian is the fourth named tropical storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season.
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Although a small storm, extending only 45 miles from the centre, this sort of weather system can undergo rapid fluctuations in intensity.
Dorian continues to move west-northwestward at 13mph while being steered by the flow on the south side of the subtropical ridge.
Maximum sustained winds are near 50mph (85km/h) with higher gusts, but strengthening is forecast during the next 48 hours.
That means Dorian can be upgraded to a hurricane when it moves near Puerto Rico and eastern Hispaniola.
READ MORE: Tropical Storm Dorian intensifies as hurricane threat bears down
When will Tropical Storm Dorian hit USA?
While uncertainty is high, wind and rain impacts are possible in the Bahamas and Florida later this week and this weekend.
NOAA urged residents in these areas to monitor the progress of Dorian and ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place.
Meteorologist at WFTC Irene Sans said Florida is now in the path of the storm, but there will be an increased margin of error in the coming days.
However, Ms Sans warned: “Remember impacts go beyond the centre of the storm.”
That means although Florida is not directly hit by Dorian, residents in the area could experience high winds and heavy rainfall.
AccuWeather Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said if the storm manages to dodge the heart of Hispaniola or Puerto Rico and travels northwestward relatively unscathed, “it could become a hurricane southeast of Florida this weekend”.
The company’s Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno added: “We could be looking at an impact along the US coastline.”
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