Wednesday 4 p.m. Update: Further Strengthening Of Dorian Expected

The National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Dorian was moving away from the northwestern Caribbean Sea Wednesday afternoon towards the western Atlantic, where the fear is Dorian could become a major hurricane by the Labor Day weekend.

Dorian's maximum winds were at 80 miles per hour as of the 4 p.m. CDT advisory, but those could grow to 115 miles per hour by Saturday, which would could put Florida at risk for a category 3 storm making landfall along its peninsula.

"The risk of dangerous storm surge and hurricane-force winds later this week and this weekend continues to increase in the central and northwestern Bahamas and along the Florida east coast, although it is too soon to determine where these hazards will occur," said the accompanying discussion from the NHC. "Residents in these areas should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and not focus on the exact forecast track of Dorian's center."

"Heavy rains are expected to occur over portions of the Bahamas, Florida, and elsewhere in the southeastern United States later this week and into early next week," the NHC forecaster added.

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