The Latest: Dorian will be a hurricane approaching Florida

MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on Tropical Storms (all times local):

6:15 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says nearly all the intensity models show Tropical Storm Dorian becoming a hurricane after hitting Puerto Rico and then getting stronger while threatening the Bahamas and the southeastern United States.

Dorian’s exact path remains very difficult to predict, but forecasters say nearly all their models suggest residents of Florida should keep close watch as the storm approaches the U.S. coast this weekend.

Tropical Storm Erin, meanwhile, is posing no threat to land as it churns off the U.S. eastern seaboard. Forecasters expect it to weaken by Thursday.


3:30 a.m.

Tropical Storm Dorian has strengthened slightly as it makes it way toward Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

Dorian was located about 240 miles east southeast of Ponce, Puerto Rico, early Wednesday. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said it had maximum sustained winds of 60 mph (96 kph) while moving northwest at 13 mph (20 kph).

The storm is expected to dump 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters) of rain on Puerto Rico with isolated amounts of 8 inches (20 centimeters).

The change in the storm’s course concerned many across the U.S. territory, where some 30,000 homes still have blue tarps as roofs nearly two years after Hurricane Maria. The island’s 3.2 million inhabitants still depend on a shaky power grid that has remained prone to outages since it was destroyed by the Category 4 storm.


12:00 a.m.

Tropical Storm Erin has formed well off the U.S. East Coast as Tropical Storm Dorian takes aim at Puerto Rico, the Bahamas and Florida.

The National Hurricane Service says the storm is forecast to move northward and north eastward over the open Atlantic with no threat to land.

Erin is drifting toward the west near 2 mph (3 kph). The storm is expected to begin moving northward Tuesday night and northeastward Wednesday with an increase in forward speed. Erin 690 miles (1110 kilometers) west of Bermuda and 300 miles (482 kilometers) southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph.

Dorian is expected to gain strength before reaching Puerto Rico on Wednesday where a hurricane watch is in effect before heading toward the Bahamas on Thursday and Florida over the weekend.


This story has been corrected to change storm’s location from nearing Puerto Rico to its distances from Bermuda and North Carolina.

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