Stronger Dorian approaches Puerto Rico; latest forecast ominous for Florida

Stronger Dorian approaches Puerto Rico; latest forecast ominous for Florida

The storm is still shifting course and according to the National Hurricane Center it could still hit the Florida coast this coming weekend as a Category 3 hurricane.

Dorian on Wednesday afternoon became a Category 1 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

But there's a big caveat: It's too early to tell exactly where or when Dorian might strike the USA mainland.

Dorian has strengthened into a hurricane as it nears the U.S. Virgin Islands and is expected to keep getting stronger.

A Category 2 hurricane has sustained winds of 96 to 110 miles per hour.

Dorian's sustained wind speeds are 82 miles per hour (132 km/h) making it a Category 1 hurricane. It is projected to make landfall somewhere along Florida's east coast late Sunday or early Monday.

The Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham says that Dorian will approach the coast of Florida on Sunday or Monday. Instead, it is likely to move over the islands of the Caribbean.

A storm becomes a hurricane when top sustained winds reach 119kmh.

The White House - which was assailed over its response to the 2017 hurricane - said President Trump approved an emergency declaration late Tuesday for Puerto Rico, allowing for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide assistance in coordination with ongoing disaster-preparedness efforts. There are no watches or warnings in effect, but tropical storm or hurricane watches could be issued on Thursday.

Dorian is expected to be a hurricane when it moves near Puerto Rico and eastern Hispaniola.

The hurricane center was also tracking Tropical Storm Erin on Wednesday morning.

Before Dorian reaches the continental USA, it will pass by Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

Florida's largest power company says it has secured about 13,000 employees and additional personnel to work to restore powerlines and equipment damaged by Hurricane Dorian.

Tropical storm conditions are possible in portions of the Dominican Republic late Wednesday and Thursday.

The storm is heading northwest at 11 knots, and the NHC has high confidence in its track for the next 48 hours, expecting Dorian to continue in that direction, then start to turn west-northwest across the Straits of Florida.

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