Hurricane Dorian Is Getting Stronger As It Heads Toward Florida

Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen as it approaches the northwestern Bahamas.
Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen as it approaches the northwestern Bahamas. (Image credit: NOAA)

Hurricane Dorian is becoming stronger as it makes its way up the Atlantic toward the Bahamas, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

"Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane later today," the NHC wrote. The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 110 mph (175 km/h), making it a Category 2 hurricane — but it's right on the edge of being a Category 3 hurricane, which is defined by sustained winds of 111 mph (179 km/h).

The hurricane is currently far east of the Bahamas, but it's traveling northwest and is expected to move east of the southeastern and central Bahamas today and approach the northwestern Bahamas tomorrow. On Sunday (Sept. 1), the hurricane might move near or over the northwestern Bahamas, where there is currently a hurricane watch in place.

Related: Hurricane Season 2019: How Long It Lasts and What to Expect

Dorian is expected to gather strength in the next few days and is likely to remain an "extremely dangerous hurricane" as it makes its way near the northwestern Bahamas and Florida over the weekend, according to the NHC. The storm itself might slow down as it approaches Florida, which means strong winds, storm surge and heavy rainfall could last a couple of days in certain parts of the state.

"Life-threatening" storm surge and hurricane-force winds might hit along Florida's east coast early next week, according to the NHC. But it's too soon to know where exactly the strongest impact will be. 

"Residents should have their hurricane plan in place, know if they are in a hurricane evacuation zone and listen to advice given by local emergency officials," the NHC wrote. In the northwestern Bahamas, "Residents should begin to execute their hurricane plans and listen to advice given by local emergency officials."

Originally published on Live Science.

Yasemin Saplakoglu
Staff Writer

Yasemin is a staff writer at Live Science, covering health, neuroscience and biology. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Science and the San Jose Mercury News. She has a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Connecticut and a graduate certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz.