The National Hurricane Center expects Dorian to intensify to a Category 2 hurricane off Florida’s coast Monday, with 100 mph sustained winds.
The center’s 8 a.m update holds with the shift reported at 5 a.m. that pushed the forecast track north, leaving the Florida Keys out of the cone of uncertainty, but including areas from Miami to Savannah, Ga. in the potential path of the storm.
Although the center of the cone points toward Flagler County, Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast remain areas of possible landfall. There is about a 230-mile error in the track forecast at day 5.
While forecast models had Dorian on a consistent track Tuesday, NHC hurricane specialist John Cangialosi said in the Wednesday forecast that there is now considerable disagreement in each run and that “confidence in the long term track remains low.”
“In addition, users are reminded not to focus on the exact forecast points as the average 5-day track error is around 200 miles,” he said.
As of 8 a.m. Wednesday, Dorian was 60 miles southeast of St. Croix with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. Meteorologists from the National Hurricane Center say Dorian is expected to strengthen, nearing hurricane strength when it approaches the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico later Wednesday.
In addition to Puerto Rico, a hurricane watch has been issued for Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The hurricane center will issue its next complete advisory at 11 a.m.
>>FOLLOW: Live Tropical Storm Dorian tracking map
On Wednesday morning, models showed Dorian becoming a hurricane in about two days, before it hits Florida. Models show it could be off the coast just south of Daytona Beach by Saturday night. Much of South Florida, however, is still in the cone of probability.
The threat of tropical storm or hurricane conditions, as well as storm surge, along parts of Florida’s east coast have increased, according to the National Hurricane Center.
>>PREPARE: Everything you need to know to prepare for the storm
Meteorologists continued to stress the uncertainty of the storm’s intensity.