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Dorian Picking Up Speed As A Category 2 Along Florida Coast

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Hurricane Dorian continues to weaken but is growing larger, and is starting to pick up speed as a strong Category 2 storm. It continues its northwestward turn toward Florida before its anticipated shift along the Florida coast and, eventually, northeast toward the Carolinas.

Outer rain bands are already producing tropical storm force winds, bands of heavy rain and storm surge across central and southern Florida. Grand Bahama Island will continue to experience tropical storm and hurricane conditions into tonight. 

Dorian is moving toward the northwest and is expected to pick up speed tonight. Florida is still outside the cone of uncertainty.

LATEST ON THE STORM

As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dorian was running parallel with Florida's east coast and moving northwest at 6 mph. It is a Category 2 storm with maximum sustained winds at 110 mph with higher gusts, down from 130 mph Monday night. It was located about 105 miles east of Vero Beach and about 125 miles east, southeast of Cape Canaveral. Hurricane-force winds extend 60 miles from the center, and tropical storm-force winds 175 miles from the center.

WEATHER: Storm track, hourly outlooks, 7-day forecasts and weather alerts

FORECAST UPDATE

Tropical storm conditions, including winds and periods of heavy rain will continue to along Florida’s Treasure Coast and Space Coast into the evening.  Dorian is expected to move north-northwest and parallel the Atlantic Coast, with those same hazards spreading north to the First Coast through Wednesday and early Thursday.

“Tropical storm winds are expected over much of the Florida east coast today and Wednesday,” said Ray Hawthorne, a meteorologist with the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network. “It may take until Wednesday night or Thursday morning for the threat of tropical storm conditions to completely leave the state.”

Storm surge flooding may exceed 4 feet along parts of the Atlantic coast, Hawthorne said. Rainfall amounts of 4-8 inches are possible, particularly near the immediate coastline. Forecasters say Dorian should to pick up forward motion as it moves just off the Georgia and Carolina coasts Thursday and Friday.

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FLORIDA PUBLIC RADIO EMERGENCY NETWORK

STORM DETAILS

Areas in South and Central Florida will begin to experience tropical storm conditions today, and Wednesday for areas in northeastern Florida and Georgia as Dorian moves to the north.

At high tide, areas from the Flagler/Volusia county line to Cape Lookout, N.C., could see storm surge of 4-7 feet, and 3-5 feet from Jupiter Inlaet to the Flagler/Volusia line. Dorian also could produce life-threatening surf and dangerous rip currents.

Grand Bahama Island could see water levels as high as 10-15 feet above normal tide level, accompanied by destructive waves.

Coastal areas from West Palm Beach to Georgia could experience 3-6 inches of rain through Friday, with isolated totals of 9 inches.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: Dorian stories from WUSF and throughout the state

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

A tropical storm watch remains in effect for Polk and Highlands counties, and a tropical storm watch for Lake Okeechobee has been discontinued.

Highlands County and eastern Polk County could experience tropical storm-force winds that could cause road closures due to debris, damage to porches, awnings and carports, localized flooding, and scattered power outages.

A flood warning has been issued for Cypress Creek at Worthington Gardens in Pasco County and the Peace River at Zolfo Springs, and the Tampa Bay area is under small craft and rip current advisories.

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for Jupiter Inlet to South Santee River SC

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for north of South Santee River SC to Cape Lookout NC

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for north of Edisto Beach SC to South Santee River SC

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for north of Ponte Vedra Beach to Edisto Beach SC

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for north of South Santee River SC to Duck, NC

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for north of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for north of Ponte Vedra Beach to Edisto Beach SC

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Lake Okeechobee

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network meteorologist Ray Hawthorne contributed to this report.