RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hurricane Dorian strengthened to a Category 2 storm late Thursday night with wind speeds of 105 mph, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
Dorian is moving northwest at 12 mph. It is expected to slow down even more as it approaches Florida Sunday and Monday when it could be a Category 4 hurricane.
“Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane on Friday, and
remain an extremely dangerous hurricane through the weekend,” the National Hurricane Center wrote Thursday.
The forecast shows Dorian becoming a Category 4 storm and maintaining that strength as it makes landfall, most likely on Labor Day.
The cone of uncertainty extends from the Florida Keys all the way up to the Florida-Georgia state line, but with such a large storm expected to approach Florida, the impacts will reach much farther than that.
In the Bahamas, Dorian’s rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods.
Swells from Dorian are expected to create dangerous surf conditions and rip currents on the southeast U.S. coast over the next few days.
Dorian will move over an environment that features very warm sea surface temperatures, weak wind shear to promote strengthening and no land in sight to impede its progress.
An area of high pressure near Bermuda should steer Dorian to the west, toward the east coast of Florida, but once it gets to Florida the storm could slow down to as much as 3 or 4 mph. This will create as much as two feet of rain in some spots and make the forecast more uncertain.
The various forecast models still vary regarding the specifics of where the storm will make landfall and what happens once it gets to Florida.
A northward curve is more likely after landfall, but when that turn north happens and how fast the storm is going is still a big question. One thing is certain, the Carolinas will not have any impact from Dorian over the Labor Day weekend, but rain could arrive from Dorian in North Carolina late next week. Many more changes to come, so please continue to watch the storm.
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