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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dorian is now a hurricane as it continues to strengthen as it makes its way toward the Virgin Islands.
Firstwarn forecaster Chris Mulchaly said Dorian is becoming a lot more organized and will continue to intensify over the next few days.
The 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center showed the storm with 75 mph sustained winds and higher gusts of 90 mph. The storm is moving northwest at 13 mph and is right on top of St. Thomas.
Dorian is forecast to become a major category 3 hurricane before making landfall on Florida’s Atlantic Coast, Mulcahy said. First Warn chief meteorologist Brad Panovich said Dorian is forecast to reach Florida with sustained winds of 115 mph.
Forecasters have now issued a hurricane warning for Vieques and Culebra, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. A hurricane watch is in effect for parts of Puerto Rico, as well. Other parts of Puerto Rico are now under a tropical storm warning.
Tropical-storm-force winds are currently extending out up to 80 miles from Dorian’s center.
If it holds together, it could move over the Bahama and towards the coast of Florida over the long Labor Day weekend – – but it’s still early to know exactly where it will go and how strong it will be when it gets there.
This many days out, the forecast has a wide level of uncertainly. Panovich advises anyone from South Carolina through Florida and on to Texas to “pay attention” and keep monitoring the forecast.
Tropical Depression Erin
Tropical Storm Erin remains 190 miles off the coast of Cape Hatters, North Carolina.
The storm, which has sustained winds of 35 mph, is moving to the northwest at 13 mph. It is not expected to make a landfall in the United States.
Some strengthening is occurring, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm could become what is defined as an “extra-tropical” storm as it moves toward Nova Scotia Thursday. An “extra-tropical” storm still contains the strength of a tropical system but inherits the title as it moves northward out of the tropics.