Dorian strengthening, forecast to be a major hurricane

Tropical Storm Dorian

Tropical Storm Dorian continues to show signs of improved organization on Wednesday. Bands are more apparent around the edges with some upper level anti-cyclonic flow visible as well. This gives the storm more calm conditions above the surface to continue to strengthen.

Local radar out of Puerto Rico shows a well defined inner core as it moves to the northwest. Conditions are expected to improve over the next few days and additional strengthening is likely. The forecast track has shifted a little farther to the north through the week but a turn to the west is still expected. The most notable change in the past day is the increased forecast intensity from the National Hurricane Center. Dorian is now expected to make landfall as a major storm, meaning category 3 or higher. This could be a significant weather maker for the state of Florida and the southeast in general.

The other important thing to note, as always, is the amount of uncertainty at the end of the track. That is a very large cone extending from near Ft Myers, FL to east of Savannah, GA. The track is going to depend on the timing of an area of high pressure in the central Atlantic. As this ridge builds west it will forecast Dorian to the west. How soon that happens will determine it’s eventual landfall point.

An earlier turn would mean a higher likelihood of the storm entering the Gulf of Mexico. While still too early to tell, there is a definite possibility of this moving west into the Gulf through the weekend.

Make plans now should you need them. As always stay with WGNO on-air and online for the latest.

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