ATLANTA - Tropical Storm Dorian was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane near the U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday afternoon, and Severe Weather Team 2 says the hurricane is gaining strength.
Late Wednesday evening, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency.
As Hurricane #Dorian approaches, I've declared a state of emergency to ensure local governments and emergency management agencies have ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared. Please continue to follow local reports and @FLSERT for updates. https://t.co/FyQM6wd8er— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) August 28, 2019
Severe Weather Team 2 is using the most advanced weather technology to bring you updates on the strengthening storm, on Channel 2 Action News This Morning, starting at 4:30 a.m.
As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, Dorian continues to strengthen and is likely to threaten the United States as a major hurricane by Monday.
[READ MORE: How does a hurricane form?]
During a news conference Wednesday evening, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said over the next 24 hours, he hopes to have a clearer picture of Dorian's trajectory.
Kemp said state officials are already weighing considerations on how to potentially handle evacuation scenarios.
Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brad Nitz said the forecast brings the storm near Florida by late Sunday or early Monday.
Dorian has become a hurricane as of 2PM Wednesday. Winds up to 75mph. It's near St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, moving NW at 13 mph. Further strengthening is expected in next few days. pic.twitter.com/4ohGZPbm7u— Eboni Deon, WSB (@EboniDeonWSB) August 28, 2019
Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said the storm could become a major threat to the Southeast late this weekend and early next week -- from Florida to the Carolinas. New information shows the storm as a major hurricane, Category 3 or higher, as it approaches the United States.
Nitz said the Georgia coast is in the threat cone. He said landfall south of Georgia is most likely.
Monahan said there's no need to panic, but he said, "This has the potential to be a significant hurricane approaching the Southeast coast in the next five to seven days."
Big message on #Dorian now -- if you have Labor Day Weekend beach plans along the east coast, you need to closely monitor Dorian.— Brian Monahan, WSB (@BMonahanWSB) August 28, 2019
No need to panic, but this has the potential to be a significant hurricane approaching the southeast coast in the next 5-7 days. @wsbtv
A Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- Vieques and Culebra
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- British Virgin Islands
- Puerto Rico
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- Puerto Rico
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