The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Dorian is now an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm, according to a special statement at 8:30 pm Friday. Data from hurricane hunter aircraft indicate the major hurricane has winds of 130 mph.
Dorian become a Major Hurricane earlier Friday afternoon, and continued to steadily intensify Friday evening.
Hurricane Dorian is forecast to remain a major hurricane as it approaches the Florida peninsula Monday.
As of the 5 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Warnings have been issued by the government of the Bahamas for the northwestern parts of the archipelago.
While uncertainty still abounds on the specific timing and location of a potential landfall from Dorian, the likelihood of life-threatening hazards affecting portions of Florida's East coast has not changed.
Observations show that an upper level high pressure center has begun to build, and this will turn Dorian on a more westward track. However, forecast guidance continues to suggest the high will weaken as Dorian nears the Florida peninsula. This will likely result in a slowing of the storm’s forward motion, delaying landfall until Tuesday. However, tropical storm force winds and outer rain bands could reach Southeastern Florida as early as Sunday morning.
The latest forecast track from the National Hurricane Center brings Dorian very close to the Space and Treasure Coasts Monday. Dorian will then likely turn slowly northward Tuesday, and potentially parallel the Florida Atlantic Coastline. This track occur immediately along the coast, a few miles offshore or a few miles inland.
Landfall of Hurricane Dorian's eye is less certain at this time. However, life-threatening storm surge and destructive winds will likely occur regardless along Florida's Atlantic Coast near and to the west of where the storm moves.
The storm’s slow motion means that many locations will receive surge, strong winds, and torrential rain for many hours. If Dorian moves inland, fresh water flooding and tropical storm force winds will become serious threats. These hazards may last into the latter part of the week in parts of the state, particularly the peninsula.