FLORIDA — Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to strengthen into a Category 2 hurricane before making landfall in Florida on Labor Day.
The storm is forecast to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by Friday morning as it tracks to the east of Turks and Caicos and will continue to strengthen to a Category 2 storm by Sunday morning before it makes landfall along the east coast of Florida or Georgia Monday morning, CNN meteorologist Haley Brink said.
A Category 2 hurricane has sustained winds of 96-110 mph.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Tuesday that he received a briefing from the Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Moskowitz and that it is time to start preparing for Dorian.
“Based on the current track of Tropical Storm Dorian, all residents on the East Coast should prepare for impacts, including strong winds, heavy rain and flooding,” DeSantis said. “Make sure to have your supplies ready and follow @FLSERT [Florida Division of Emergency Management] and local media for the latest updates on the forecast.”
A well-known forecast model is predicting Tropical Storm Dorian will pack hurricane-force winds when it reaches the Florida Peninsula.
Recent runs of the European model, operated by the European Center for Medium Range Forecasting, have been trending a stronger storm over the past 48 hours.
The model has constantly brought the center of the storm to the eastern coast of Florida, somewhere between Jacksonville and West Palm Beach.
Right now, Dorian is approaching several Caribbean islands.
The tropical storm is expected to be near a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday and Thursday, CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said.
But it could impact more than just the Caribbean: By the end of the week, what’s left of Dorian is expected to move toward the Bahamas and southeastern parts of the mainland US.
A word of warning, though: “It is still way too early to forecast impacts,” Hennen said about Florida.