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article imageDorian now hitting Puerto Rico as a Category 1 hurricane

By Karen Graham     Aug 28, 2019 in Environment
Dorian is now a hurricane as it pushes through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, the first storm there since 2017's Hurricane Maria, and is an increasing danger to the Southeast U.S., including Florida, over the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The Category 1 hurricane's center is now moving over St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kph) and wind gusts over 90 mph. The storm's minimum central pressure is now 997 MB...29.44 inches.
Dorian is moving toward the northwest at about 13 mph (20 kph), and this motion is expected to continue for the next day or two. Heavy rain is now lashing St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands. Outer rainbands are already pushing into Puerto Rico, according to NWS Doppler radar from San Juan.
The storm was tracking more north than most forecasts had predicted and could pass Puerto Rico to its east, drastically increasing the odds of a hurricane landfall in the southeast U.S., wrote Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, reports NBC News.
The track of the storm could potentially cause an increase in strength as it heads out over open water Thursday. It is possible the storm could become a Category 3 hurricane before reaching the Florida coast.
Right now, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico need to be aware of the risks of flash flooding and mudslides from heavy rain. They will be a significant threat, particularly in mountainous terrain where trees may have been downed from 2017's Hurricane Maria.
People gather to surf in Patillas  Puerto Rico on August 28 before Dorian's arrival
People gather to surf in Patillas, Puerto Rico on August 28 before Dorian's arrival
Eric Rojas, AFP
Rainfall amounts of from 4 to 6 inches, with isolated amounts of up to 10 inches are expected. Keep in mind that wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains are often up to 30 percent stronger than the near-surface winds in this advisory.
Swells are expected to increase later today across the U.S. 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.
Bottom line hers, folks - Dorian is going to be more formidable than anyone thought.
More about hurricane Dorian, category 1, Puerto rico, East coast, category 3 storm
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