Dorian Strengthens Into A Hurricane

Dorian becomes a hurricane near St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands; plus, multiple observations of hurricane-force winds are occurring in St. Thomas.

At 200 PM AST (1800 UTC), the center of Hurricane Dorian was located near latitude 18.3 North, longitude 65.0 West. Dorian is moving toward the northwest near 13 mph (20 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue for the next day or two. On this track, Dorian should continue to move near or over the U.S. and the British Virgin Islands this afternoon and then move over the open Atlantic well east of the southeastern Bahamas.

Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 75 mph (120 km/h) with higher gusts. Dorian is forecast to continue strengthening during the next few days over the Atlantic waters. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 20 miles (30 km) to the north and east of the center. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) primarily to the east of the center. An elevated weather station on Buck Island just south of St. Thomas reported a sustained wind of 82 mph (132 km/h) and a gust of 111 mph (178 km/h). The estimated minimum central pressure from nearby observations is 997 MB (29.44 inches).

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY: The Tropical Storm Watch for the Dominican Republic has been discontinued.


A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* Vieques and Culebra
* U.S. Virgin Islands
* The British Virgin Islands

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Puerto Rico

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* Puerto Rico


RAINFALL: Dorian is expected to produce the following rainfall accumulations:

Northern Leeward Islands…1 to 3 inches.
Eastern Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the northwest
Bahamas…4 to 6 inches, isolated 10 inches
Western Puerto Rico and the central Bahamas…2 to 4 inches
Coastal sections of the Southeast United States…4 to 8 inches,
isolated 10 inches.

This rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods.

WIND: Hurricane conditions are ongoing over portions of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and are expected over Vieques, Culebra, and the British Virgin Islands today. Tropical storm conditions are expected in Puerto Rico this afternoon and tonight.

Wind speeds atop and on the windward sides of hills and mountains are often up to 30 percent stronger than the near-surface winds indicated in this advisory, and in some elevated locations could be even greater.

SURF: Swells are expected to increase later today across the U.S. and the British Virgin Islands and along the southern coasts of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola, and they could cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

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