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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla — People on the U.S. coast are making final preparations for Hurricane Dorian as the storm makes its way north.
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dorian is about 90 miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach, Fla., and about 205 miles south of Charleston, S.C.
The storm is moving north-northwest at 9 mph with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph.
At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown.
Hurricane watches and warnings have been expanded along the U.S. southeast coast.
A storm surge warning is in effect for:
*North of Port Canaveral, Fla. to the North Carolina/Virginia border
*Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
*Neuse and Pamlico Rivers
A storm surge watch is in effect for:
*North Carolina/Virginia border to Poquoson, Va., including Hampton Roads
A hurricane warning is in effect for:
*North of Savannah River to the North Carolina/Virginia border
*Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds
A hurricane watch is in effect for:
*North of Ponte Vedra Beach to Savannah River
A tropical storm warning is in effect for:
*Volusia/Brevard County, Fla. line to Savannah River
A tropical storm watch is in effect for:
*The North Carolina/Virgina border to Chincoteague, Virginia
*Chesapeake Bay from Smith Point southward
Dorian first made landfall in Elbow Cay, Bahamas, around 12:45 p.m. Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph as a Category 5 hurricane. Hurricane Dorian’s falling wind speeds since then made it a Category 4 storm Monday morning. From there, it weakened further.
However, Dorian remains an extremely destructive storm.
The most reliable weather computer models have been consistent in keeping the powerful storm just off the Florida coast and away from landfall. These models, however, are not forecasts — and they tend to change with every update.
In fact, some models include parts of Florida’s east coast for significant impacts.
The National Hurricane Center said hazards for the islands include powerful wind gusts and storm surge 12-18 feet above normal tide levels, with possibly higher waves.
Dorian’s turn northwest is a positive forecast for the Tampa Bay region but one of most concern for Florida’s east coast because a slow, powerful storm that rides the coastline is likely to bring more prolonged and significant impacts. Florida is technically out of the cone of uncertainty in the latest hurricane track, but that definitely doesn’t mean the coast is out of the woods.
Again, stay tuned to the latest forecast as Dorian’s track and intensity become more certain.
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Each line represents a computer model’s best “guess” of where the center of the storm will go. Together, they look like spaghetti noodles. Remember, impacts from a tropical system can and do occur miles away from the center.
This is the latest “cone of uncertainty,” which shows an area where the center of the storm could go, when and how strong it might be at the given time.
Watches and warnings
What’s a watch? What’s a warning? Here are the official alerts that can be issued for your area and what you should do.