Carolinas and Georgia to feel impact of Hurricane Dorian. Here’s what to expect

ABC11 updates the track of Hurricane Dorian Thursday morning

Watch the ABC11 weather forecast for the latest on the track and timing of Hurricane Dorian as it moves toward the US.
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Watch the ABC11 weather forecast for the latest on the track and timing of Hurricane Dorian as it moves toward the US.

Georgia and the Carolinas should expect heavy rain and winds associated with Hurricane Dorian over the weekend and into Monday.

Dorian was upgraded from a tropical storm to a hurricane Wednesday afternoon, with sustained winds near 75 mph and gusts in the 111 mph range, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“All indications are that by this Labor Day weekend, a powerful hurricane will be near the Florida or southeastern coast of the United States,” the center reported Wednesday.

“The risk of dangerous storm surge and hurricane-force winds is increasing ... along the Florida east coast, although it is too soon to determine where these hazards will occur.”

As of 5 a.m. Wednesday, the storm was less than 1,500 miles southeast of Charleston and National Hurricane Center updates showed landfall edging north on the eastern coast of Florida, just north of Orlando.

“Bottom line: Dorian is intensifying albeit slowly,” reported the South Carolina State Climate Office on Wednesday.

“There has been a marked shift north of the track and the model trends overnight. ... Some of the consensus models are now hinting at a track solution that recurves Dorian offshore Georgia and South Carolina.”

Potential impacts on the East Coast include inches of rain, flash floods and heavy winds, experts predict.

Tropical storm force winds in the 10- to 30-mph range could start moving into Georgia and the Carolinas as early as 8 p.m. Saturday, forecasters say.

The extent of impact remains unclear, because forecasters say the storm’s current track indicates it could make landfall in Florida anywhere from the Georgia state line to the Keys. Storm-force winds currently extend about 80 miles out from the storm, officials said.

“Uncertainty in the intensity forecast late this week remains higher than usual due to a large spread in the model guidance,” the center reported Wednesday.

Dorian has “hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 20 miles to the north and east of the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles primarily to the east of the center,” reported the hurricane center. “An elevated weather station on Buck Island just south of St. Thomas reported a sustained wind of 82 mph and a gust of 111 mph,” reported the center.

Up to 10 inches of rain are expected in isolated areas as the storm passes through the Caribbean, officials said.

“Although weakening is possible after Dorian moves across Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, the storm is forecast to strengthen late this week and this weekend while passing near or to the east of the Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas,” forecasters said.

The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring a second tropical storm, named Erin, 300 miles off the coast of North Carolina. However, it is not expected to make landfall until it reaches Nova Scotia early Friday morning.

Tropical Storm Erin had sustained winds of about 40 mph Wednesday and could affect the Carolinas with storm surge, experts say.

Puerto Rico was under a hurricane watch and tropical storm warning for Tropical Storm Dorian.

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