Dorian Strengthens Overnight, May Hit Florida At Cat 2

The Orlando Sentinel reports:

Tropical Storm Dorian strengthened overnight as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands were warned to brace for hurricane conditions with possible heavy rains and flash flooding today, the National Hurricane Center said in its 5 a.m. Wednesday update. The storm could hit Florida as a Category 2 hurricane by late Sunday or early Monday.

Overnight, winds picked up to 60 mph as the storm made its expected northwest turn, and a hurricane watch was issued for Vieques, Culebra, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. President Trump declared an emergency Tuesday night and ordered federal assistance for local authorities.

“The latest forecast track shows the potential for a Category 2 hurricane impacting Central Florida by late Sunday into Monday morning of next week,” Fox 35 meteorologist Jayme King said early Wednesday. “Floridians need to be prepared and take this latest development seriously.”

NBC News reports:

The center of the storm was around 240 miles east-southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico, which is on the southern coast of the island, and was moving northwest at 13 mph early Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center said.

“For Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, tomorrow morning, tomorrow evening, during the day — got to wrap things up when it comes to preparedness,” National Hurricane Center Ken Graham said in a video briefing earlier Tuesday.

While there is some uncertainty about the intensity of the storm, he said “either way it’s going to be a lot of rainfall.” Puerto Rico was under a hurricane watch as well as a tropical storm warning, and tropical storm warnings were also in effect for Vieques, an island off its eastern coast, as well as for the U.S. Virgin Islands.