TS Dorian approaches Puerto Rico; could strengthen to Cat. 2 hurricane as it nears Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — The latest forecasts for Tropical Storm Dorian have the storm impacting Puerto Rico Wednesday and then strengthening possibly to a Category 2 storm as it nears Florida Sunday and Monday.

NEW UPDATES CAN BE FOUND HERE: TS Dorian's rainbands reach Puerto Rico; could intensity as it moves toward Florida

8 a.m. update Wednesday:

Tropical Storm Dorian continues to track toward Puerto Rico at 13 mph with 60 mph winds, according to the 8 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.

The new track continues to show the storm strengthening to a Category 2 storm as it nears Florida on Monday.

5 a.m. update Wednesday:

The 5 a.m. update shows Tropical Storm Dorian has winds of 60 mph, moving northwest at 13 mph toward Puerto Rico.

Channel 9 meteorologist Brian Shields said the latest tracks give the storm two options: a direct hit to Florida, or curving up to the north toward the Carolinas.

The latest track shows the storm strengthening to a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds as it nears the Florida peninsula on Sunday and into Monday.

11 p.m. update: 

Tropical Storm Dorian hasn't strengthened Tuesday evening, but could intensify as it approaches Puerto Rico Wednesday.

After passing Puerto Rico, and bringing with it a flooding threat, the brush with land may temporarily weaken the storm.

The overall storm track has shifted slightly to the north, and as Dorian emerges over the Atlantic waters, it is forecast to intensify again, this time to a hurricane by the end of the week.

By Sunday, most of the Florida Peninsula is within the cone of uncertainty along with the possibility of a hurricane.

Severe Weather Center 9 is still watching large uncertainties in location and strength of Dorian by Sunday, but your hurricane preparedness plan should be ready. Channel 9 will know more Thursday more of where this storm will track, and how strong it could be.

8 p.m. update: 
Dorian continues to hold 50 mph maximum sustained winds at the 8 p.m. intermediate advisory by the National Hurricane Center. The storm moves west-northwest at 14 mph and pressure is at 1005 millibars. The system continues to battle the dry air as it eyes Puerto Rico. 
According to the official track by the National Hurricane Center, Dorian should be entering Puerto Rico by Ponce Wednesday afternoon. It will cross the island diagonally and exit through Aguadilla between 3-5 hours after landfall. 
5p.m. update: 
Dorian's track has shifted a bit more to the north. Now, it is forecast that Dorian sill make landfall in Puerto Rico entering in Ponce Wednesday afternoon. Earlier Tuesday afternoon, hurricane hunter found the center of the storm about 60 miles north to what it originally was found. Unfortunately, models are not accounting for this shift, so it is likely that the next runs will not tell a better story for the long term forecast. In the short term, there is good confidence that the system will come close, if not make landfall, in Puerto Rico. After Thursday, the forecast is more uncertain. 
There is more uncertainty about a direct impact to Florida. We are in the long-term cone, but the margin of error this far out is close to 200 miles. At this point, residents in Central Florida should have a plan in case the current track for Dorian verifies.
Make sure you have the medications you need. It usually takes a couple of days for prescriptions to be ready. Do you know if you are in an evacuation zone? Where would you go? These are all things you should know at this point. No action is needed yet, but you must review all your plans. 
2p.m. update: 
Tropical Storm Dorian continues to move west-northwest at about 13 mph. Hurricane Hunters have investigated the system and found that the center has formed a bit more north, near latitude 15.0 North and longitude 62.0 West. Dorian will continue to travel west-northwest through Tuesday evening, then turn to the northwest on Wednesday as it comes close to the southern portion of Puerto Rico. By Thursday, Dorian is forecast to move over Turk and Caicos and the southern Bahamas. 
Dorian will fluctuate in intensity and its center will continue to reform during the next several days, which will potentially change its trajectory. 
TUESDAY 11 a.m. update:
The latest track for Tropical Storm Dorian has its wind speeds remaining at 50 mph and about 415 miles southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico. The dry air and its pass over St. Lucia seems to be holding Dorian’s intensity steady. Dorian still has a window for intensification due to the very warm Caribbean waters and the amount of heat content available in this area.
Tropical storm or hurricane watches were issued Tuesday morning for Hispaniola.

Dorian's Latest Track

Dorian is a very compact storm with tropical-storm-force winds that only extend outward 45 miles. 
At 11 a.m., the National Hurricane Center stated that Dorian continues to battle the dry air over the Caribbean and its pressure has stayed at 1005 mb. Maximum sustained winds at 50 mph and continues to move to the west-northwest at 13 mph.
Tuesday night through Wednesday morning Dorian will come about 20 miles southeast of Boquerón, in the southwestern corner of Puerto Rico. Anywhere from Yauco to Mayaguez there could be over 8 inches of rainfall during Dorian’s track near the island.
Dorian is still forecast to cross the Mona Passage. If this track verifies then Dorian will not have too much land interaction, which means that it could stay as a tropical storm as it enters the Atlantic again and tracks over the Central Bahamas. The waters over the Central Bahamas are extremely warm and shear is expected to relax in this region. But the important fact to remember at this point is that, while in the Caribbean Dorian will be dealing with a lot of shear and dry air, which could really damage the system.
The amount of uncertainty after Thursday is greater because of all the factors that could really put a dent in Dorian in the Caribbean.
From Thursday on the forecast is still very uncertain. There is the potential for some impact in Florida, but it will all depend on how disrupted this system gets in the Caribbean. If there is anything left there is still the possibility that it interacts with the terrain in the Dominican Republic. The margin of error this far out is about 200 miles.
We will continue to monitor the system and keep you updated on Eyewitness News and on our free WFTV Weather app.

Local weather: Rain, some strong storms expected in Central Florida


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