Hurricane Dorian is Expected to be a Category 4 Storm

National Hurricane Center

Jake Norton, Weather Writer

As hurricane Dorian takes its aim at Florida, the National Hurricane Center(NHC) predicts the storm will intensify to a category 4 hurricane with sustained winds at 130 mph. Dorian already produced very heavy rain in the US Virgin Islands. The hurricane is anticipated to arrive Sunday around noon. Once the rain bands hit land it will slow down significantly. The NHC projects the storm will stay on land in Florida until Monday at 8 AM – for this reason Florida will see a large amount of rain.

Large amounts of rain induce flash flooding.  Boynton Beach has an 80 to 90% chance of seeing hurricane force winds. If you live by the East, storm surge will be a huge problem. The US Virgin islands have already seen storm surge of 6 to 8 feet tall in some areas.

Hurricane warnings and watches will be out by tonight or Friday according to the National Hurricane Center.  Local officials will continue to send out news regarding storm shelters and evacuation routes. Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis has put out a state of emergency for all of Florida.  However, no warnings or watches are in place at this time.

Just because the storm is expected to be a category 4 doesn’t mean it can’t get stronger. The warm water gives the storm power and off the coast of Florida is found some of the hottest waters in the world. That’s why storms get so strong when they approach the state. The storm definitely has the potential to be a category 5 hurricane.

This is a very dangerous storm and at the moment The storm is predicted to hit land at or near Vero Beach. With this storm, power could be out for several days or maybe even weeks. For this reason, a hurricane kit is critical. Start by having plenty of water and nonperishable food. Tap water will not be available while the power is out. The next important item to have is a battery powered radio, a flashlight with batteries and a first aid kit. A radio will be your only way to receive information when the power goes out.

At this point it is almost too late to evacuate. The storm is moving too fast and too unpredictably. You could get stranded in the hurricane on the way out of the state. With that being said, stay safe this weekend. Put up your hurricane shutters and evacuate to a local hurricane shelter. Do not go outside until told to do so. Make sure you get gas and a generator. Most importantly, if you see flood waters while you’re driving, turn around and do not drown.