Hurricane Dorian strengthened to a Category 2 storm overnight, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and intensifying into a Category 3 hurricane as of today and making its way to the US mainland in just a matter of hours.Forecasters at the US National Hurricane Center say the storm will remain extremely dangerous throughout the weekend as it moves through the northwestern Bahamas approaching the Florida peninsula.
And there’s a good chance Dorian will increase in strength even more to become a Category 4 hurricane by the time it reaches Florida’s shores early Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, “Dorian could bring a triple-threat of dangers to the state, including a”life-threatening storm surge, devastating hurricane-force winds and heavy rains”.
The advice going out this weekend to Floridians is to “prepare NOW”.
A state of emergency has already been declared in Florida.
As of noon today, Dorian’s centre was some 660 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida, and about 480 miles east of the northwestern Bahamas as it headed northwest at 10 mph.
Meanwhile, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has declared a state of emergency for 12 counties along the state’s coastline, to The declaration, which went into effect Thursday, frees up state resources and prohibits price gouging for goods and services.
Meanwhile, the US Air Force has begun evacuating KC-135 aircraft at the MacDill Air Force Base near Tampa as a precaution. They will return after the storm passes.Dorian is expected to track to the north and east of the Turks and Caicos and the southeastern Bahamas today. Forecasters say the storm “will bend west-northwest to westward by early Saturday” and “will likely begin to impact the northwestern Bahamas by Saturday night or early Sunday”.