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Dorian Expected to Rapidly Intensify

Hurricane Dorian Forecast Cone

Dorian strengthened to a category 2 storm Thursday night and forecasters say it’s expected to become a powerful category 4 hurricane this weekend as it draws closer to Florida.

The government of the Bahamas issued a Hurricane Watch for the northwestern Bahamas in advance of the hurricane’s arrival there Sunday and Sunday night.

A high pressure ridge over the Mid Atlantic states is forecast to turn Dorian westward toward Florida, but there are signs the ridge will weaken late Sunday and Monday. This will cause the hurricane to slow down its forward motion as it approaches the east coast of Florida. The latest forecast calls for the storm to most likely make landfall late Monday night.

There is still a possibility -- albeit it a small one -- that Dorian makes a turn toward the north before it reaches Florida. For this reason, residents of South Carolina should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian. If it makes landfall in Florida, as presently expected, the storm is still likely to turn north and bring heavy rain to portions of the Palmetto state Wednesday or Thursday of next week.