Hurricane Dorian 2019 track update: Dorian’s winds holding at 150 mph as it nears Bahamas

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Hurricane Dorian 2019 track update: Dorian’s winds holding at 150 mph as it nears the Bahamas

Hurricane Dorian’s winds were holding at 150 mph on Saturday night as the Category 4 storm tracked closer to the Bahamas.

There were promising signs in the forecast track update for the state of Florida, although it could be a close call for parts of Georgia and the Carolinas later next week.

The outlook still appears grim for the northwestern Bahamas, which could feel the full force of Dorian starting on Sunday. Dorian is forecast to slow down, or even stall when it reaches the islands, possibly setting up a prolonged battering with the wind, surge and up to 25 inches of heavy rain.

The latest official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center shows the center of Dorian staying offshore of Florida early next week and not making landfall.

Hurricane Dorian 2019 track update: Dorian’s winds holding at 150 mph as it nears the Bahamas

But that’s not a given. Not yet. Uncertainty is still clouding the long-term forecast as of Saturday.

“Although the exact NHC track forecast lies east of the Florida peninsula, a track closer to the coast or even a landfall remains a possibility,” the hurricane center said late Saturday.

The Sunshine State will likely still feel some of the wrath of the storm, as its wind and rain could still be intense well away from the center. As of Saturday night, hurricane-force winds reached outward from the eye about 30 miles, and tropical-storm-force winds spanned outward 105 miles

With that in mind, the hurricane center issued a tropical storm watch for part of the east coast and said more watches could be coming for Florida on Sunday.

The track now shows Dorian eventually taking a path northward and parallel to the Southeast U.S. coast that’s reminiscent of Hurricane Matthew in 2016. It could still be a major hurricane during that time.

The hurricane center added that Georgia and the Carolinas are now more at risk of seeing impacts from Dorian with this latest track adjustment. The long-range track shows Dorian moving near the North Carolina coast as a hurricane on Thursday.

The northwest Bahamas, however, likely will not be spared by Dorian, and hurricane warnings and watches continued for some of those islands on Saturday.

As of 10 p.m. CDT Saturday, Hurricane Dorian was located about 125 miles east of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, or 310 miles east of West Palm Beach, Fla., and was moving west at 8 mph.

Dorian is a powerful Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 150 mph, according to the hurricane center. That’s only 7 mph shy of Category 5 status

Hurricane Dorian 2019 track update: Dorian’s winds holding at 150 mph as it nears the Bahamas

There was some speculation among meteorologists watching data come in from recon flights on Saturday night that Dorian may be upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane. But the hurricane center held off on that designation, saying some of the data was questionable.

The hurricane center said some fluctuations in intensity are expected going forward, and Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane for the next few days.

And Dorian could get stronger. The hurricane center’s intensity forecast shows Dorian’s winds possibly climbing as high as 155 mph.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for the northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New Providence.

Andros Island remained under a hurricane watch.

A tropical storm watch was added for Florida and stretches from Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet.

Hurricane conditions will be possible in the warning areas by Sunday, forecasters said. Tropical storm conditions could begin in the Bahamas overnight.

Another big concern for the Bahamas is the storm surge. Ten to 15 feet will be possible in areas of onshore winds, the hurricane center said.

Dorian could also bring a tremendous amount of rain to the Bahamas and the U.S. Ten to 15 inches, with isolated amounts up to 25 inches, will be possible in the Bahamas. Six to 12 inches will be possible along the southeast coast of the U.S.

There are still uncertainties about the long-range path for Dorian.

Forecast models are in agreement that Dorian will track to the west-northwest for the next two days or so, but will slow down near the Abacos and Grand Bahama Island.

Dorian is expected to be steered westward by an area of high pressure to its north through early Sunday.

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