Tropical Storm Dorian expected to become hurricane Wednesday

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Tropical Storm Dorian strengthened slightly Wednesday morning as it makes it way toward Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Authorities warned of landslides, widespread flooding and power outages. President Donald Trump declared an emergency Tuesday night and ordered federal assistance for local authorities. 

Maximum sustained winds have increased to nearly 60 mph, with higher gusts, and the storm is moving northwest at 13 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest advisory. Dorian is about 240 miles east-southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico. 

Forecasters believe Dorian will move near or to the east of Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas Thursday night and near or to the east of the central and northwestern Bahamas on Friday and Saturday.

Tropical-storm-force winds are currently extending out up to 45 miles from Dorian’s center.

A hurricane watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, and tropical storm warnings are in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the U.S. and British Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic — from Isla Saona to Samana.

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. First Warn Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich advises anyone from South Carolina through Florida and on to Texas to “pay attention” and keep monitoring the forecast.

On the current forecast track, the center of Dorian will move across the northeastern Caribbean Sea on Tuesday night pass over or near western and central Puerto Rico on Wednesday, and move near or just east of eastern Hispanola on Wednesday night. 

Tropical Depression Six

Tropical Depression Six remains well off the Atlantic coast and away from land. It poses no threat to the mainland United States.

As of 5 pm Tuesday, it was centered about 410 west of Bermuda or about 315 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras and moving north-northwest at 7 mph. Maximum sustained winds remain at 35 mph. 

According to the National Hurricane Center, some strengthening is occurring. It is expected to become a tropical storm on Wednesday, taking on the name Erin. However, it should begin to take on extratropical characteristics and weaken on Thursday as it moves away from land.

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