Dorian remains a powerful Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. (A category 5 hurricane has maximum winds of 156 mph.) The storm is expected to move through the northern Bahamas on Sunday before moving towards the U.S. on Labor Day.
Floridians may be sighing a sigh of relief with the latest track from the National Hurricane Center, but the Sunshine State isn't out of the woods yet. After tracking through the Bahamas as a high-end Category 4 hurricane, Dorian will drift closer to Florida's east coast. Model trends have indicated an improving situation. Even though a landfall is not expected, the very slow-moving major hurricane could still send outer bands of heavy rain and big surf to the Treasure Coast. Then the storm pivots northward, expanding the potential impact zone. It will be a long week of watching areas from Florida to North Carolina. Every mile of movement will make a difference.
The east coast of Florida will still get the brunt of the storm even if Dorian doesn't make landfall. Tropical storm-force winds will still be felt as the storm bums along the coast. The most destructive winds will stay over the open water with this latest track. Dorian will also churn up high waves, life-threatening surf, and add to the storm surge.
The northern Bahamas are bracing for over two feet of rain from Dorian. A life-threatening storm surge of 10 to 15 feet above normal tide levels is possible for parts of Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island. Dorian's outer bands could also bring several inches, if not feet of rain, to Florida into the middle of next week.