Tracking the Tropics: Dorian nears Puerto Rico, could become hurricane once it reaches Florida

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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tropical Storm Dorian is growing stronger as it nears Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, according to the 8 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The system is forecast to bring tropical storm force-winds in both territories later Wednesday. Puerto Rico could see four to six inches of rain, and some areas may see up to eight inches.

The storm may become a hurricane late this week into this weekend, posing a threat to the Bahamas and Florida.

“Once it crosses Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands today, it will increase in strength. Now it could be a Category 2 hurricane along Florida’s east coast Sunday and Labor Day,” said Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Leigh Spann.

“Based on the current track of #TropicalStormDorian, all residents on the East Coast should prepare for impacts, including strong winds, heavy rain and flooding,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis wrote on Twitter.

As of 8 a.m., the storm is located about 60 miles southeast of St. Croix. It’s moving northwest at 13 miles per hour, packing maximum sustained winds of 60 miles per hour.

A Hurricane Watch is currently in effect for:

  • Puerto Rico
  • Vieques
  • Culebra
  • U.S. Virgin Islands

A Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect for:

  • Puerto Rico
  • Vieques
  • Culebra
  • U.S. Virgin Islands
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Samana

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:

  • Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Samana

Tropical Storm Erin formed Tuesday night well off the East Coast, but poses no threat to the United States.

Erin began moving north and northeast on Wednesday, and is now drifting north-northwestward at a faster pace over the western Atlantic, according to the NHC.

The storm is located about 435 miles west of Bermuda and 265 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It has maximum sustained winds of 40 miles per hour. It’s moving north-northwest at 6 miles per hour.

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

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Aaron Nolan

Aaron Nolan is a morning show co-host in Little Rock, Arkansas with Nexstar Media Group's KARK-TV. He has a passion for social media and makes it an important part of his daily routine. Click here to read Aaron's full bio.