Hurricane Dorian: Florida declares state of emergency as it waits storm's arrival

Hurricane Dorian: Florida declares state of emergency as it waits storm's arrival

President Donald Trump canceled a visit to Poland on Thursday and Florida's governor expanded a state of emergency to prepare for Hurricane Dorian, which is forecast to make landfall on the Atlantic coast Monday as a unsafe Category 4 storm.

"Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 90 miles", the National Hurricane Center said.

It is expected to become a major hurricane by Friday afternoon and continue to gain strength until it makes landfall on Labor Day.

As Dorian approaches the Florida coast over the weekend, the official Hurricane Center forecast predicts peak winds to reach 209kmh, on the cusp of Category 4 intensity.

The forces that will determine Dorian's fate - and that of Florida - are already at work.

That includes light to moderate wind shear and very warm water with sea surface temperatures of between 84 and 86 degrees.

Update, 11 p.m.: The latest advisory from the National Weather Service says Dorian is projected to strengthen into "a powerful hurricane" over the next couple of days.

Table of top 10 strongest (ranked by pressure) Florida #hurricane landfalls on record (since 1851). "Both for Michael and for Irma, the federal government has given us the dollars we need to both respond and recover". Some of the more reliable computer models predicted a late turn northward that would have Dorian hug the Florida coast.

Waves churned up by Dorian should begin to grow and affect the Bahamas and Southeast U.S. coast over the next few days, raising the risk of rip currents.

Though landfall has fallen back to Monday, tropical storm conditions in South Florida, including wind gusts of 39 miles per hour or more, could arrive as early as Saturday evening. Hurricane conditions are possible by Sunday.

"Assuming #HurricaneDorian makes landfall in Florida, this will be the 4th consecutive year with a Florida #hurricane landfall - the most consecutive years with a Florida landfall since they were hit by hurricanes in a whopping 7 consecutive years from 1944-1950", tweeted Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane research affiliated with Colorado State University.

"The situation is becoming increasingly unsafe and life-threatening", National Weather Service meteorologists in Melbourne wrote this morning. Soto, who was briefed Wednesday by FEMA on preparations for Hurricane Dorian, said he's also spoken with Moskowitz.

"People have got to be ready before Sunday", Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, told CNN's "New Day" on Thursday.

Soon-to-be Hurricane Dorian is now located approximately 85 miles from Saint Croix in the British Virgin Islands, heading northwest toward the state of Florida at 13 mph.

Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced on Monday declared a state of emergency for the island and urged people to prepare for the storm.

Along Florida's east coast, local governments began distributing sandbags, shoppers rushed to stock up on food, plywood and other emergency supplies at supermarkets and hardware stores, and motorists topped off their tanks and filled gasoline cans.

Here are the 5 AM AST/EDT August 29 Key Messages for Hurricane #Dorian.

In the Bahamas, canned food and bottled water disappeared quickly from shelves and some people boarded up their homes.

Forecasters say Dorian, which had top sustained winds of 145 miles per hour (230 kph) Saturday morning, will threaten the Florida peninsula late Monday or early Tuesday.

After tearing through the British and US Virgin Islands and drenching Puerto Rico with rain Wednesday, Dorian was moving northwest in the Atlantic Thursday night.

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