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Dorian now a 'catastrophic' Category 5 hurricane, threatens Florida coast

ePHOTO VIA NOAA
Photo via NOAA

Dorian is now a Category 5 hurricane, as the storm heads straight into the Bahamas, theNational Hurricane Centersaid Sunday morning.

Packing 160 mph winds with gusts up to 190 mph, “the eyewall of this catastrophic hurricane is about to hit the Abaco Islands with devastating winds,” says the NHC in their 8 a.m. advisory on Sunday morning.

The storm now has hurricane-force winds extending out 30 miles, and tropical storm-force winds extending out 105 miles.

Dorian has slowed down and is forecast to slow down even more, while it moves west at 8 mph, about 35 miles east of Great Abaco Island and 225 miles east of West Palm Beach.

The storm’s track is still threatening Florida and the Carolinas, and is projected to be a Category 4 hurricane with sustained 140 mph winds and 165 mph gusts off the coast of Palm Beach County by late Monday.

Forecasters now predict the storm will shift to the north, riding the coast along Brevard County on Tuesday as a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph sustained winds.

IMAGE VIA NHC
Image via NHC

A hurricane warning is in effect for northwestern Bahamas, and a hurricane watch is in effect for Andros Island. In Florida, a tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet, and a tropical storm watch is in effect for north of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach.

“There is still a significant chance of a strike on the state of Florida,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in a Saturday briefing at the Emergency Operations Center. “Anyone inside of that cone needs to be prepared.”

As of now, a significant part of Florida is still within the storm’s cone of uncertainty, including Orlando.

Orlando is still within the storm's 'cone of uncertainty,' meaning the path of the eye could potentially move across our area. Residents are advised to prepare for that possibility and follow storm advisories closely through Monday.

Orlando International Airport decided on Saturday to remain open for commercial flights on Monday, rather than close at 2 a.m., as was originally planned.

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