Storm Team 11: Powerful Hurricane Dorian heads towards Northwestern Bahamas, Forecast to turn north as it nears Florida

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(WJHL) – Hurricane Dorian continues to churn over the southwestern Atlantic as it heads toward the Northwestern Bahamas, including Freeport, as a powerful category four hurricane.

As of 11 p.m. Saturday, Dorian has 150 mph winds and is 310 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida. It’s moving west at 8 mph and a slower westward motion is expected for the next day or so. It’ll be very near the east coast of Florida late Monday and Tuesday and it’s expected to remain a very powerful hurricane.

Trends over the past 24 hours have indicated a shift east in the forecast. Most of the model guidance has the storm turning north now before it reaches the Florida coastline. This would keep the most intense weather offshore. However, Florida is not out of the woods yet and some impacts are still expected, especially near the coast. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet, which means tropical storm force winds are possible starting Monday. If the storm wobbles just 10 or 20 miles that could make a huge difference.

Check out one of our in-house computer models keeping the core of the very compact storm just offshore. A few miles in either direction will make all the difference. Based on the latest forecast, eastern Florida can expect some occasional rain bands Monday and Tuesday bringing some gusty winds. Dangerous surf and beach erosion would be the biggest issue.

While the news appears better for Florida, it’s not good for our friends in coastal Georgia and the Carolinas. It could pose a serious impact Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with one of the threats being heavy rain/flooding. The closer to the coast, the worse it would be. The farther offshore it stays, the better it would be.

Even with this latest forecast, the Tri-Cities aren’t expected to be impacted. In fact, it looks mainly dry, but stay tuned.

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