Tropical Storm Dorian is slowly strengthening and is expected to become the second hurricane of the season by Tuesday, forecasters with the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.
In its 5 p.m. Sunday advisory, the hurricane center said the tropical storm was still 365 miles east-southeast of Barbados, with maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (up from 40 mph Sunday morning). Its current path shows the storm heading northwestward toward Puerto Rico and Hispaniola at 14 mph.
Forecasters say a turn toward the west-northwest is expected on Monday, with this motion continuing through Tuesday night. On the forecast track, the center of Dorian is expected to be near the Windward Islands early Tuesday and move into the eastern Caribbean later in the day, with wind speeds potentially as high as 80 mph by then.
Among Caribbean islands to issue a tropical storm warning to residents, which means storm conditions are expected within 36 hours, are the governments of Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
A tropical storm watch, which is typically put in place when tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours, has been issued in Martinique, Grenada and its dependencies.
“A Tropical Storm Watch has been issues for Barbados and additional watches and warnings for the Windward and Leeward Islands will likely be required later today,” forecasters said in their ‘key messages’ on the Hurricane Center’s web site.
In a ‘key message’ on the Hurricane Center’s web site, forecasters said that it is 'too soon’ to determine the specific timing or magnitude of impacts in Puerto Rico or Hispaniola, but that the islands should monitor the progress of Dorian in the coming days.
Forecasters also released new details about a tropical disturbance off the east coast of Florida that they’re monitoring.
Forecasters said the ‘environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development, and a tropical or subtropical depression is likely to form within the next few days.'
The system, however, is expected to slowly move northeastward well offshore of the southeastern United States.
Still, forecasters say that interests along the coasts of South and North Carolina should continue to monitor the progress of this system. An Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance this afternoon, ‘if necessary.’