Tropical Storm Dorian Strengthens As It Barrels Toward Puerto Rico and Potentially Florida
Dorian could become a hurricane by midweek.
Tropical storm Dorian may graduate to a full-blown hurricane by the middle of the week, weather experts predict. And that could spell trouble for Puerto Rico, much of the Caribbean, and potentially Florida.
According to CNN, the storm is expected to make landfall over the Windward Islands late Monday. It could bring up to four inches of rain to Barbados and Dominica through Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center predicts.
CNN Meteorologist Karen Maginnis predicts the storm could intensify after pushing off the Windward Islands as it makes its way toward the Caribbean. It could reach hurricane status as early as Tuesday.
By mid-week, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski reports, the storm will likely make a northward turn and head toward Puerto Rico.
"Depending on its exact track and intensity, Dorian could cause flash flooding and mudslides across the islands middle to late week as 4-8 inches of rain may fall in some areas," he says.
However, as Pydnowski notes, there are a few factors working against Dorian, which could be good news for those in its path. According to the weather expert, wind shear could cause the storm to weaken over the warm Caribbean waters. And, once the storm passes over the mountainous regions in Puerto Rico and Hispanola it could weaken even more.
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But, even slight variations in temperature, wind, and moister could help Dorian become a more organized storm thus making it a bigger threat to all, including southern Florida, which could feel the storm's effect by the weekend.
However, even as a smaller tropical storm, Dorian could pose a major threat to Puerto Rico, which is still reeling from Hurricane Maria, which struck the island in 2017. That storm, The Atlantic explains, was nearly a category 5 hurricane by the time it made landfall on the island. The storm killed thousands of people, however, due to an intense controversy over how those deaths were calculated, the number could be much higher.
Beyond the human death toll, Puerto Rico's infrastructure was nearly completely lost in the storm, with much of the island going without power for weeks. A full two years later, the island is still in the rebuilding phase. But, with this latest storm, Puerto Rican residents aren't waiting around.
"Thankfully I've been preparing since May," resident Krystal Rivera tweeted. "We've been [stocking] up on water and can [goods] and gas for the generator."