1. Hurricane

Tropical Storm Dorian could become a hurricane tomorrow with a Florida impact more likely

The National Hurricane Center moved up the timetable for likely Hurricane Dorian from Thursday to Tuesday.
The tropical storm is expected to become a hurricane by Thursday, though its effect on Florida remains uncertain. [National Hurricane Center]
Published Aug. 26
Updated Aug. 27

UPDATE: Tampa Bay is now inside Tropical Storm Dorian’s five-day forecast cone

The National Hurricane Center Monday afternoon said Hurricane Dorian will form in the Caribbean Sea by Tuesday night, reverting to earlier predictions after saying it’d remain a storm until Thursday.

The Hurricane Center said early Monday that Dorian would remain a storm until just before making landfall near the Dominican Republic or Puerto Rico Thursday morning. Now, the increasingly organizing storm is expected to become a hurricane just after barreling through the Lesser Antilles Islands of Barbados, St. Lucia and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which are currently under tropical storm warnings. It’s expected to enter the Caribbean Sea as a storm Tuesday morning and become a hurricane by Tuesday night.

As of 2 p.m. Monday, Tropical Storm Dorian was 200 miles southeast of Barbados with winds nearing 70 mph. Storms become hurricanes once sustained winds reach 74 mph.

The Hurricane Center also updated the storms projected strength once it reaches the Bahamas on a path that has Florida in its sights.

If Dorian becomes a hurricane by Tuesday, it’d have almost two days in open water to strengthen before hitting land.

It’s still most likely to pass over the Dominican Republic Thursday where wind sheer and mountains can break it up. It was initially supposed to hit the Bahamas as a depression Friday, but is now likely arrive as a tropical storm. Forecasters also have a Hurricane Dorian on a more easterly path now, meaning it could hit Puerto Rico instead, or miss landfall altogether before entering the Bahamas.

Forecasters said too many “what ifs” still remain to determine the storm’s future strength and path, particularly with how it might impact Florida, but it’s important to watch as it develops. Current forecasts, however, indicate a south Florida impact as a tropical storm to be more likely.

“We’re just telling people to keep an eye on it over the next five to seven days,” Weather Service forecaster John McMichael said. “Right now it’s too far out to tell if it will survive its trek over the Caribbean.”

Dorian formed into a tropical storm, the fourth of the season, on Saturday. It outpaced a low-pressure system that moved up the Florida coast over the weekend and is now almost 300 miles off the coast of North Carolina. The system’s center moved over southeast Florida but then pushed out into the Atlantic as it headed north. That system is still highly likely to form into a tropical cyclone within two days but should keep moving east into the Atlantic.

Dorian would become the second hurricane of the season, following Barry which hit Louisiana as a category 1 storm in July.

2019 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

HURRICANE SEASON IS HERE: Get ready and stay informed at

PREPARE YOUR STUFF: Get your documents and your data ready for a storm

BUILD YOUR KIT: The stuff you’ll need to stay safe — and comfortable — for the storm

PROTECT YOUR PETS: Your pets can’t get ready for a storm. That’s your job

NEED TO KNOW: Click here to find your evacuation zone and shelter

What Michael taught the Panhandle and Tampa Bay

What the Panhandle’s top emergency officials learned from Michael

‘We’re not going to give up.’ What a school superintendent learned from Michael

What Tampa Bay school leaders fear most from a storm

Tampa Bay’s top cops fear for those who stay behind


  1. Atlantic tropical cyclones and disturbances, as of 11 a.m. Thursday. National Hurricane Center
    It is projected to pass north of Puerto Rico on Saturday and east of the southeastern Bahamas on Sunday.
  2. Atlantic tropical cyclones and disturbances, as of 5 a.m. Thursday. National Hurricane Center
    The system should stay well east of the United States, according to forecasters.
  3. Tropical Storm Jerry is expected to become reach hurricane status on Friday. National Hurricane Center
    Forecasters expect the storm to reach hurricane status on Friday.
  4. This satellite image shows Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9, 2018, as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall near Mexico Beach in the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm. [Photo courtesy of NOAA] NOAA
    Nearly a year after the storm, 18,000 claims are still open.
  5. The tropical outlook on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2019. National Hurricane Center
    The depression is expected to become Tropical Storm Jerry by early Wednesday, then strengthen to a hurricane by the weekend.
  6. Hurricane Humberto's projected path as of 5 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. National Hurricane Center
    It could become a major hurricane by Tuesday night or Wednesday morning.
  7. The forecast track for Hurricane Humberto, as of 5 a.m. Monday. National Hurricane Center
    The Category 1 hurricane is moving away from the southeastern United States and expected to approach Bermuda by Wednesday night.
  8. Mos Antenor, 42, drives a bulldozer while clearing the road after Hurricane Dorian Mclean's Town, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, Friday Sept. 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) RAMON ESPINOSA  |  AP
    Threatening to exacerbate islands’ problems, Humberto’s rains were falling on Abaco island.
  9. Members of the fire rescue team Task Force 8, from Gainesville, Florida, help remove a body one week after Hurricane Dorian hit The Mudd neighborhood in the Marsh Harbor area of Abaco Island, Bahamas, Monday, Sept. 9, 2019. Dorian, the most powerful hurricane in the northwestern Bahamas' recorded history, has killed at least 44 people in Bahamas as of Sunday, Sept. 8, according to the government. GONZALO GAUDENZI  |  AP
    Many in the northwestern Bahamas, known for its casinos, golf courses and mega yachts, worry they will be forced into deep poverty.
  10. The tropical outlook on Saturday Sept. 14, 2019. National Hurricane Center
    A north-northwest turn is expected by Sunday, just as the storm is projected to become a hurricane.