HOLT, Fla., Aug. 28, 2019—Hurricane Dorian is expected to reach category 3 strength before making landfall on Florida’s east coast this weekend.
Because of this, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued a state of emergency for east coast counties in Dorian’s path and is urging all Floridians on the east coast to brace for impacts.
Depending on Dorian’s path, the governor could include other counties in Florida as well later this week.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Dorian is forecast to strengthen into a powerful hurricane during the next few days over Atlantic waters.
Data from an Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft indicate Dorian has intensified and San Juan radar data show the eye is becoming better defined.
Given the favorable environment of warm waters and low wind shear in the western Atlantic, the NHC forecast calls for a marked intensification and brings Dorian to category 3 in 72 hours.
It’s expected to keep that intensity until landfall with top forecast wind speeds of 115 mph.
It’s expected to weaken once over land, but projected wind speeds at 90 mph will mean Dorian will still be at hurricane strength.
Dorian has been moving toward the northwest and this motion is expected to continue for the next 24-to-48 hours.
After that time, Dorian is expected to turn more west-northwest toward Florida.
All indications are that by Labor Day weekend, a powerful hurricane will be near or over the Florida peninsula, according to the NHC.
The center adjusted the hurricane track a little bit further to the south which could put a west-northwest turn in the Gulf of Mexico if Dorian crosses the Florida peninsula.