PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – The latest intermediate advisory on Dorian has now upgraded the system to a category 1 hurricane with winds at 75 mph.
Numerous observations of hurricane-force winds have been recorded on St. Thomas, part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, as the storm is now knocking on their doorsteps and expected to continue barreling northwest at 13 mph.
The forecast track has not shifted with this latest intermediate advisory, and the next full advisory will come out at 4 pm CDT.
The initial advisory is posted below
PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – On Wednesday morning, an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft found Dorian to be a bit stronger with a central pressure of 999 millibars and sustained winds up to 70 mph.
At 10 am, Dorian was situated about 25 miles southeast of St. Croix and moving to the northwest at 13 mph.
Slow strengthening is expected through the day on Wednesday, and Dorian likely to become a Category 1 hurricane by either Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.
After Dorian moves east of Puerto Rico, into warm Atlantic waters, it’s forecast to strengthen to a category 2 storm as early as Friday night which would have sustained winds of 96 to 110 mph.
On Saturday, most weather guidance models expands the Bermuda High westward which would shift Dorian’s track to the west-northwest, putting most of Florida and parts of the Southeast in the cone of uncertainty.
The official track depends on just how much the high builds, so this is when uncertainty starts to build with what path Dorian will take.
When Dorian moves into the northern Bahamas on Sunday, it will encounter much lower wind shear and even warmer waters which will allow it strengthen further into a category 3 with sustained winds of 111 to 130 mph. This is considered a major hurricane.
Dorian is expected to make landfall early Monday morning, but the spread between models is nearly 500 miles across the east coast of Florida and residents as well as tourists need to make sure they pay attention to this storm.
Impacts to the panhandle also depend on the exact track, but it is likely we’ll start to see heavier rain by Labor Day.
The 13 First Alert Storm Team will continue to monitor Dorian’s progress through the Caribbean Sea and updates will be posted here as well as on our social media accounts.