Hurricane Dorian is predicted to hit Florida and the northern Bahamas this weekend as a dangerous Category 3 storm, bringing intense rains and sustained winds of 125 mph, the National Hurricane Center says.
With favorable conditions and very warm waters ahead, Dorian is expected to have a fearsome growth spurt in the next 48 hours. As the NHC says, "all of the intensity models forecast Dorian to begin strengthening again soon, and rapid intensification could occur."
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for 26 counties in the current path of the hurricane, citing forecasters' dire predictions of high winds and the chance for a damaging storm surge and flooding.
As of Thursday morning, Dorian was expected to make landfall as a major hurricane early Monday. But its strong winds will arrive hours earlier — and many parts of Florida could feel the storm's effects, says NHC Director Ken Graham.