Category 2 Dorian to strengthen into 'extremely dangerous hurricane'
Hurricane to impact northwestern Bahamas as Category 4, forecasters say
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Dorian, the second hurricane of the 2019 season, will start spinning over Florida on Monday as a Category 4 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center's 11 p.m. Thursday update.
The location of the hurricane's southeastern U.S. landfall is uncertain as of Thursday night. The probabilities are within a 500-mile stretch -- from the Florida Keys to southern Georgia.
Meteorologists expect the storm, which is drawing strength from the warm waters of the Atlantic, to become a "major hurricane" and remain "an extremely dangerous hurricane" through the weekend.
The hurricane hunter aircraft found Dorian -- now a Category 2 hurricane -- continued to strengthen about 295 miles away from the southeastern Bahamas.
Forecasters expect a west-northwestward to westward motion to begin by Friday night and to continue into the weekend.
Its maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 mph with higher gusts and the storm is moving about 12 mph.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.
The storm is expected to approach the northwestern Bahamas Saturday as a Category 4 and move near or over portions of the northwest Bahamas on Sunday.
President Donald Trump canceled his trip to Poland to deal with Dorian. Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency. They both asked the public to prepare for a catastrophic hurricane. Trump compared it to the 1992 Hurricane Andrew.
With the uncertainty of the forecast, local authorities had yet to announce any evacuations. Some South Florida cities are distributing free sandbags to help residents protect their homes from flooding.
Some residents in Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties were already planning to spend their Labor Day weekend preparing for the hurricane. There were long lines at gas stations, supermarkets and hardware stores in southwest Miami-Dade.
Tourists are having to change their travel plans. Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Norwegian are rerouting cruise ships. American Airlines is waiving the fee to change reservations.
Saturday's Rolling Stones concert was rescheduled to Friday night. There was a reason to celebrate: Haiti and most of Puerto Rico did not have to experience Dorian's wrath. Puerto Ricans, who are still recovering from 2017 Hurricane Maria, faced flooding in southern coastal towns.
Dorian is expected to produce rainfall accumulations this weekend into early next week that may cause life-threatening flash floods.
The central Bahamas: 1 to 2 inches, isolated 4 inches.
The northwestern Bahamas: 3 to 5 inches, isolated 7 inches.
Coastal sections of the Southeast U.S.: 5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches.
Swells are likely to begin affecting the east-facing shores of the Bahamas and the southeastern United States coast during the next few days. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
The next complete advisory is at 5 a.m. Friday. Hurricane watch alerts will likely be issued for the northwestern and central Bahamas on Friday.
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