DORIAN is now a hurricane and is heading to Puerto Rico with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometres per hour (kmph).
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami said, “All indications are that by this Labour Day weekend, a powerful hurricane will be near the Florida or southeastern coast of the United States.”
The commissioner of Puerto Rico’s emergency management agency Carlos Acevedo said the National Guard was prepared to move supplies to affected areas where heavy rainfall could cause flooding and landslides.
Puerto Rico is only just recovering from the effects of Hurricane Maria, two years ago.
President Donald Trump on Tuesday approved an emergency declaration for Puerto Rico. This will allow federal assistance to supplement local efforts.
The NHC has discontinued the Tropical Storm Watch for the Dominican Republic but issued Hurricane Warning for Vieques and Culebra, US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.
A Hurricane Watch is in place for Puerto Rico.
According to the NHC, “A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next six to
“A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within the next six to 12 hours.”
The NHC said that as at 2 p.m. AST, the center of Hurricane Dorian was located near latitude 18.3 North, longitude 65.0 West.
Dorian is moving toward the northwest near 20 kmph and this motion is expected to continue for the next day or two.
The NHC said:
“On this track, Dorian should continue to move near or over the U.S. and British Virgin Islands this afternoon and then move over the open Atlantic well east of the southeastern Bahamas.”
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 120 kmph with higher gusts. Dorian is forecast to continue strengthening during the next few days over the Atlantic waters.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 km to the north and east of the center. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 130 km primarily to the east of the centre.
An elevated weather station on Buck Island just south of St Thomas reported a sustained wind of 132 kmph and a gust of 178 kmph.
Dorian is expected to produce the following rainfall accumulations
- Northern Leeward Islands…1 to 3 inches.
- Eastern Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the northwest
- ..4 to 6 inches, isolated 10 inches
- Western Puerto Rico and the central Bahamas…2 to 4 inches
- Coastal sections of the Southeast United States…4 to 8 inches,
- Isolated 10 inches.
This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods.
Swells are expected to increase later today across the US and British Virgin Islands and along the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, and they could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.