Hurricane Dorian continues churn toward Southeastern Florida and is on track to become a major hurricane later on Friday with the potential of becoming a Category 4 before it makes landfall on Monday, forecasters say.
"On this track, Dorian should move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern and central Bahamas today, approach the northwestern Bahamas Saturday, and move near or over portions of the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday," the Hurricane Center said Friday morning.
As of 10 a.m. Friday morning, Hurricane Dorian was still around 255 miles east-northeast of the southeastern Bahamas, moving northwest at around 12 mph. The hurricane is a Category 2 with 110-mph winds, but forecasters expecting the storm to strengthen and reach Category 3 later on Friday.
"Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane later today. Dorian is likely to remain an extremely dangerous hurricane while it moves near the northwestern Bahamas and approaches the Florida peninsula through the weekend," the agency said.
The storm's exact path once it makes landfall in the U.S. is still uncertain. The storm is on track to begin lashing southeastern Florida Monday or early Tuesday. The path could take it anywhere between the Florida Keys and southern Georgia. Most models used by forecasters show the storm hitting between Vero Beach and Boca Raton overnight Monday into Tuesday. The storm could then move up the Atlantic coast before heading back out to sea by later next week.
Forecasters say residents in the Southeast should expect heavy rainfall, with anywhere between 6 inches and up to 15 inches of rain in some areas. Storm surges are also a possibility for some areas in the state, but forecasters aren't sure where the hardest hit areas will be.
No evacuations have been ordered in the state ahead of the storm, but, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a statement Thursday that due to Dorian's uncertain path, he has requested a "pre-landfall disaster" from President Donald Trump for all of Florida's 67 counties. More than 2,500 Florida National Guard troops were activated in advance of the storm, the governor added.
"As it increases strength, this storm has the potential to severely damage homes, businesses and buildings, which is why all Floridians should remain vigilant," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
Residents are being urged to have at least one week's worth of food, medicine and supplies ahead of the storm.
"All residents, especially those along the east coast, need to be prepared for possible impacts," DeSantis said. "As it increases strength, this storm has the potential to severely damage homes, businesses and buildings, which is why all Floridians should remain vigilant."
Trump, who cancelled a planned trip to Poland ahead of the storm, called Hurricane Dorian "an absolute monster" in a tweet, and compared it to 1992's Hurricane Andrew, which was the costliest hurricane to hit Florida until Hurricane Irma in 2017.
"All indications are it’s going to hit very hard and it’s going to be very big," Trump said in a video tweeted Thursday.
Florida residents have flocked to stores to purchase supplies and water ahead of the storm, with gas stations backed up as people waited to fill up their tanks. Some scattered fuel shortages have been reported.
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