Just in time to spoil Labor Day weekend, Hurricane Dorian has barreled through the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico without causing much damage, and is now headed straight for the Florida coastline. After intensifying from a tropical storm into a hurricane late Wednesday, the storm continued to strengthen as it pulled closer to the Continental US.
The storm is expected to continue strengthening over the next few day, and is expected to make landfall on Florida's Atlantic coast as a CAT 3 storm late Sunday or Monday.
Hurricane Dorian is strengthening and may hit the US as a Category 3. It's forecast to grow into a major storm over Labor Day weekend before making landfall along the east coast of Florida. https://t.co/m2I3qgSzba— CNN (@CNN) August 29, 2019
Track Dorian: https://t.co/cElZ4glOcX pic.twitter.com/p0YEIEBa8L
In typical fashion, president Trump warned that Dorian will be "a very big storm, perhaps one of the biggest!" and urged people to follow state and federal instructions.
Hurricane Dorian looks like it will be hitting Florida late Sunday night. Be prepared and please follow State and Federal instructions, it will be a very big Hurricane, perhaps one of the biggest!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 29, 2019
As of 5 am ET on Thursday, Dorian's center was some 150 miles north-northwest of San Juan, as it headed northwest at 13 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. Dorian's sustained winds increased to 85 mph, with higher gusts recorded.
Heavy rain from the storm could cause "life threatening" flash floods in parts of the Bahamas on Thursday, and even along the southeastern US coast.
CBS News weather producer David Parkinson said that "with a new supermoon and the angle the storm is approaching from, widespread coastal flooding, including severe coastal flooding is likely. In addition, as the storm is coming in for landfall, it looks like it might lose some of the steering currents."
Miami resident Lanada Means said she purchased plywood at Home Depot on Wednesday to begin preparing for the storm. "My daughter messages me on Instagram and asked me if I knew about the storm, and I didn't, so I came here on my lunch break. Tomorrow is gonna be crazy."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency Wednesday, advising residents to gatherseven days of supplies, including water, food and medicine.
.@NHC_Atlantic is forecasting that #Dorian could be a major Hurricane. We’ve been monitoring this storm with @FLSERT and will continue to watch closely. All Floridians on the East Coast should have 7 days of supplies, prepare their homes & follow the track closely.— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 28, 2019
However, the storm has already thrown forecasters a few curveballs, the biggest being its swerve to the east on Wednesday, which helped it largely avoid Puerto Rico. Though that move put it in prime position to hammer the east coast of the US. Whether it lands in Florida, or further north, remains to be seen.