#HurricaneDorian is now a 'catastrophic' Category 5 hurricane - follow the ...

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• Bahamas on hurricane watch as risk of life-threatening storm surge increase. Hurricane Dorian due to hit Caribbean island today
• National Hurricane Center warns of increasing likelyhood of storm surge along Florida east coast this weekend
• Florida governor Ron De Santis warns all 67 counties have had state emergency declared. Residents should know their hurricane plan
• Risk of devastating hurricane-force winds along Florida East Coast

The fourth named storm of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Dorian is intensifying as it tracks through the open water of the Atlantic Ocean. A state of emergency has been declared in Florida, and shelves in coastal shops are being stripped as residents prepare for Dorian to make landfall. Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center warned: “People have got to be ready before Sunday.” Below are the latest updates, warnings and path of Hurricane Dorian, all times in BST.

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Sunday, September 1
1pm update: NOAA's latest advisory places Hurricane Dorain as a Category 5 hurricane

According to NOAA's 8am EDT (1pm BST) update, Hurricane Dorian is now a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, the strongest category a hurricane can be.

maximum sustained wind speeds have been registered as 160mph, and is described by the NHC as 'extremely dangerous'. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles (45 km) from the centre, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles (165 km).

12.13pm update: Numbers of people and homes at risk in Bahamas

At a press conference on Saturday, Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis issued an evacuation order for parts of Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands, both in the north of the archipelago.

Mr Minnis urged residents to travel to the main island to escape the "devastating, dangerous storm".

He added 73,000 people and 21,000 homes were at risk. 

11.09am update: Bahama's Prime Minister urges residents to evacuate

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis of the Bahamas has urged residents to evacuate areas most at risk, saying that "homes, houses, structures can be replaced".

He added: "Lives cannot be replaced."

Florida's governor Ron DeSantis has also urged Floridians to stay alert warning that dangerous storm surges are forecast for the region.

He said: "As you're looking at these forecasts, a bump in one direction or the other could have really significant ramifications in terms of impact.

10.11am update: NOAA 5am EDT advisory

NOAA issued their latest advisory at 5am EDT (10am BST), and now there are four warnings and watches in place across the Bahamas. 

The NHC warns "extremely dangerous hurricane Dorian expected to hit the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama Island later today.

"Life-threatening storm surge, hurricane-force winds and very heavy rainfall expected."

Below are the current warnings and watches in effect -

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Andros Island A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for North of Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for North of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach

Hurricane Dorian LIVEHurricane Dorian LIVE: The current forecast track of Dorian (Image: GOOGLE)

9.31am update: Dorian to hit Bahamas with 24hrs of wind and rain

Dorian is forecast to hit into the Bahamas today and linger, triggering a deluge of rain and powerful winds which could last 24hours.

CNN Meteorologist Chad Myers said: "This is the time that the Bahamas (is) really going to have do some significant soul searching, whether you want to protect your valuables or protect yourself because this will be a life-threatening storm in the Bahamas."

9.06am update: The exact track of hurricane Dorian remains uncertain

The NHC is warning many places will feel the impact of the hurricane along the southeastern US coast, but the final path of Dorian remains uncertain. 

In their latest advisory the NHC said: "By late Sunday, the dynamical models erode the western portion of the ridge, which should cause the hurricane to slow down and become nearly stationary over the northwestern Bahamas in 36 to 48 hours.

"After that time, the weakness in the ridge becomes more pronounced, and Dorian is expected to turn northwestward, and eventually northeastward near the southeastern United States coast.

"Although there is general agreement on this overall scenario, there is still considerable spread on how close the storm will track to the east coast of Florida and the southeastern coast of the United States".

8.13am update: NOAA 2am update - Dorian packing winds of 150mph

Hurricane Dorian is still packing extremely dangerous winds of 150mph as it approaches the Bahamas. 

As of the latest NHC update, Dorian was located approximately 95 miles east of Great Abaco Island, and 280 miles east of West Palm Beach, Florida.

Current warnings in effect

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Andros Island

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet

Hurricane Dorian LIVEHurricane Dorian LIVE: Staggering satellite images show the extent of the swirling eye (Image: NASA)

4.28am update: Orlando International Airport cancels Monday closure

Orlando International Airport has cancelled its planned closure on Monday.

In a statement the airport said: “Based upon updated Hurricane Dorian forecasts it has been decided that Orlando International Airport will lift its previously planned closure on Monday, September 2.

“Orlando International Airport will continue normal operations on Monday.”

3.31am update: President briefed on latest developments

President has received another briefing on the approaching Hurricane Dorian.

The official White House Twitter account posted: “President Donald , Senator Rick Scott and senior White House staff received a FEMA briefing on Hurricane Dorian this afternoon at Camp David.

“If you are in the path of the storm, please continue to listen to state and local officials.”

2.35am update: Hurricane headed for Bahamas at 8 miles per hour

Currently Hurricane Dorian is heading towards the Bahamas at a speed of 8 miles per hour, accord to the US site Weather Nation.

Meanwhile Democratic Presidential hopeful has offered his solidarity to those likely to be affected on Twitter.

He commented: “Georgia and South Carolina, please be safe.

“If you are in Hurricane Dorian's projected path, visit https://ready.gov/hurricanes for information on how to prepare.”

1.27am update: Hurricane Dorian just 7 mph from Category 5

Hurricane Dorian is approaching Category 5 strength according to the latest National Hurricane Centre update.

It is currently a Category 4 with maximum sustained wind speeds of 150 miles per hour, just seven miles per hour less than a Category 5.

In its update the centre commented: “Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days.”

0.30am update: Martin County cancels Sunday evacuation

Martin County in Florida has cancelled a planned mandatory evacuation on Sunday, but could still push ahead with one on Monday.

The announcement was made by Martin Fire Rescue Chief William Schobel.

However beaches will remain closed and school is cancelled on Tuesday.

Mr Schobel warned: “It is still a dangerous storm, I don’t think we can exhale just yet”.

Hurricane DorianShops boarded up ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Dorian (Image: GETTY )

Saturday, August 31
23.25pm update: North Carolina governor urges residents to “take Dorian seriously”

Residents of North Carolina have been urged to “take Dorian seriously” by Roy Cooper, the state governor.

In a press release Mr Cooper commented: “Now is the time to prepare and take Dorian seriously.

“This storm could cause serious damage and bring dangerous conditions to our state.

“I urge everyone to follow the forecast and listen to their local first responders.”

9.55pm update: NOAA NHC latest update 5pm (EDT)

According to NOAA's latest public advisory, Hurricane Dorian is expected to hit portions of the Bahamas on Sunday with great impact.

Dorian is about 170 miles east of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas, and 355 miles east of West Palm Beach in Florida.

Dorian has maximum sustained winds of 150mph.

A Tropical Storm Watch has now been issued for the east coast of Florida from Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet.

A Hurricane Warning is still in effect for Northwestern Bahamas, excluding Andros Island.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Andros Island.

9pm update: Florida preparations for Dorian

Officials in Volusia County in Florida have warned evacuations could take place on Monday, despite not expecting to see tropical storm-force winds until Tuesday or Wednesday.

Meanwhile, emergency officials in the state's Brevard County are reportedly postponing mandatory evacuations for 24 hours.

Although evacuations were originally called for on Sunday morning at 8am, with Dorian's path shift officials now say residents should begin evacuating on Monday at 8am.

7.37pm update: Bahamas Prime Minister Hubert Minnis calls for residents in northern Bahamas to evacuate

Minnis said today: "To those of you in the Cays and Grand Bahamas, I beg you, please leave." 

"(The storm) is expected to cause devastating effects to our island."

"If you wait until tonight, it will be too late."

"Time is not on our side."

6.59pm update: Latest NOAA public advisory issued

The latest NOAA public advisory has been issued for 2pm (EDT). 

NOAA say Hurricane Dorian is still sustaining maximum wind speeds of 150mph.

Hurricane Dorian is still classed as a Category 4 hurricane.

A Hurricane Warning is still in place for the Northwestern Bahamas excluding Andros Island.

A Hurricane Watch is still in effect for Andros Island.

6.11pm update: Governor of South Carolina has declared a state of emergency

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has declared a state of emergency in the state.

An executive order has instructed residents to prepare for potential impact as a result of Hurricane Dorian.

He tweeted earlier: "Given the strength and unpredictability of the storm, we must prepare for every possible scenario.

"State assets are being mobilized now and Team South Carolina is working around the clock to be ready, if necessary.

"We encourage all South Carolinians who may be impacted by Hurricane Dorian to be vigilant and prepare now – there is no reason for delay."

5.22pm update: Florida to prepare for extensive power outages

According to reports from CNN, Florida Power & Light spokesman Bryan Garner said Florida should still prepare for "possible extensive power outages" - despite the fact Dorian's path has now shifted.

He said there are some 18,000 workers gathering in Florida, and crews are ready near the expected "hardest hit" areas.

3.57pm update: Latest public advisory from NOAA 

Hurricane Dorian is now 7mph away from being classed as Category 5 hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center predicts Hurricane Dorian is now around 415 miles east from West Palm Beach in Florida.

Hurricane Dorian is also about 260 miles east-northeast of the Northwestern Bahamas.

Hurricane Warnings are still in place for the Northwestern Bahamas, excluding Andros Island.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Andros Island.

The latest NHC advisory said: "At 1100 AM EDT (1500 UTC), the distinct eye of Hurricane Dorian was located near latitude 26.0 North, longitude 73.4 West."

3.38pm update: Southeastern US to be hit with feet of rain

According to Accuweather, hurricane Dorian is likely to unleash torrential rain and raise the risk of flooding next week.Accuweather warns: "Following major impact to lives and property due to high winds and coastal flooding, heavy rain and inland flooding may be Dorian's second wind over the southeastern United States."

AccuWeather Lead Long-Range Meteorologist Paul Pastelok said: "How soon that non-tropical storm pulls Dorian northward will determine whether or not Dorian indeed makes landfall in Florida or turns northward toward the Carolinas at the last minute."

3.06pm update: Staggering satellite images from NASA

NASA is assisting forecasters with satellite images, using their Global Precipitation Measurement mission satellite and NOAA-NASA’s Suomi NPP satellite.

2.08pm update: Georgia and the Carolinas could bear the brunt of Hurricane Dorian

The forecast track for Hurricane Dorian is uncertain, with some forecasting the weather system to not make as much of an impact on Florida as previously thought. 

Landfall is now expected later this week in parts of the Carolinas, however, Floridians should still prepare as there here are still multiple forecast models that show Dorian making landfall in Florida. 

The Bahamas remain in Dorian's sights, and Basil Dean, Deputy Director of Bahamas Department of Meteorology, told CNN the northernmost island of Grand Bahama will start to experience storm winds as early as 4am local time. 

Much of Florida falls in the “cone of uncertainty” - meaning it could impact. 

1pm update: NOAA 8am update shows yet more strengthening

At 8am EDT (1pm BST), the distinct eye of Hurricane Dorian was located near latitude 25.8 North, longitude 73.0 West. Dorian is now moving toward the west near 12 mph (19 km/h).

A slower westward motion should continue into early next week.

On this track, the core of Dorian should move over the Atlantic well north of the southeastern and central Bahamas today, be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday and be near the Florida east coast late Monday.

Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter plane indicate that the maximum sustained winds have increased to near 145 mph (225 km/h) with higher gusts.

Storm Dorian LiVEStorm Dorian LIVE: Hurricane Hunters provide an insight into the inner core of Dorian (Image: NOAA)

Hurricane Dorian LIVEHurricane Dorian LIVE: Dorian's track has changed, it is now moving to the east (Image: NOAA)

12.20pm update: Dorian's forecast track heads east

The uncertainty around Dorian's path is growing, and now the latest maps show the dangerous hurricane on a more eastward track. 

This means Dorain could instead make landfall in the Carolinas. 

The Bahamas will first be hit, with winds and rain beginning as early as 4am local time according to Basil Dean, Deputy Director of Bahamas Department of Meteorology.

Mr Dean said: "from there onwards, things will go downhill as the hurricane-force winds are expected to follow."

11.42am update: US President Donald and Florida's governor urge Floridians to "heed" warnings 

President tweeted of Hurricane Dorian: "I am monitoring Hurricane Dorian and receiving frequent briefings and updates. It is important to heed the directions of your State and Local Officials. This is an extremely dangerous storm, please prepare and be safe!"

Florida's governor Ron DeSantis also issued a stark warning saying: "It is imperative that all Floridians and their families take Hurricane Dorian seriously.

 “The time to prepare diminishes by the hour, particularly because we are still uncertain of where it will make landfall.

"Everyone should have seven days of food, water and medicine in preparation for this storm. Additionally, all residents need to be prepared to evacuate, should that be required.”

11.01am update: Dorian could be the worst hurricane to hit Florida in nearly 30 years

Forecasters are warning Hurricane Dorian could be the state's worst storm since category five Hurricane Andrew. 

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew killed 65 people and destroyed 63,000 homes. 

The warm waters off the Florida coast can strengthen hurricanes, and Dorian is expected to remain a highly dangerous weather system as it tracks closer to Florida. 

10.34am update: What can the Bahamas expect when Hurricane Dorian hits?

AccuWeather Hurricane Expert  Dan Kottlowski explained: "People on Grand Bahama and Abaco in the Bahamas can expect major damage, widespread power outages and a loss of most other utilities.

"Dangerous flash flooding, as well as storm surge flooding,  can cause low-lying areas and lower levels of some structures to be submerged for a number of hours."

A storm surge of up to 10 feet with locally higher levels is forecast close to the eye of Dorian over the northern Bahamas and near and to the north of the eye along the Florida coast. 

Storm Dorian LiVEStorm Dorian LIVE: Staggering satellite images show the eye of the hurricane (Image: NASA/ NOAA)

Hurricane Dorian LIVEHurricane Dorian LIVE: Extensive damage could occur when Dorian hits (Image: ACCUWEATHER)

10.10am update: NOAA's 5am EDT advisory shows Dorian maintain 140mph winds

NOAA's National Hurricane Centre (NHC) released its latest update at 5am EDT, warning Dorian could embrace the Florida peninsula by late Monday.

Dorian is moving toward the west-northwest near 12 mph (19 km/h).  

A slower west-northwestward to westward motion should begin later today and continue into early next week.  

On this track, the core of Dorian should move over the Atlantic well north of the southeastern and central Bahamas today, be near or over the northwestern Bahamas on Sunday, and be near the Florida east coast late Monday.

Dorian was located around 470 miles east of west Palm Beach, Florida and around 305 miles east of the northwestern Bahamas. 

9.03am update: Could hurricane Dorian reach Category 5 status?

As of NOAA’s 2am EDT (7am BST) update, Dorian had intensified, with maximum sustained winds of up to 140mph.

This places the storm at Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, and yet more strengthening is forecast before the weather system reaches Florida.

To reach Category 5, Dorian’s wind speeds would have to increase to a staggering 157mph

Hurricane Dorian LIVEHurricane Dorian LIVE: Torrential rain will batter Florida's coastline as Dorian approaches (Image: NOAA)

8.20am update: Prime Minister of the Bahamas warns 'Do not be foolish'

Currently, a hurricane warning is in effect for the Northwestern Bahamas, and a hurricane watch is in effect for Andros Island.

Prime minister of the Bahamas Hubert Minnis said at a news conference: "Do not be foolish and try to brave out this hurricane.

"The price you may pay for not evacuating is your life."

5:30am update: Hurricane's winds strengthen to 140mph

Hurricane Dorian is continuing to strengthen with maximum sustained winds of up to 140mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

The hurricane is currently located 545 miles east of West Palm Beach and is moving northwest at 10mph.

Forecasts are saying that Dorian will reach the Florida coast near Melbourne on Tuesday. 

The forecast also says the hurricane could strengthen up to 150mph tomorrow.

Category 5 winds are upwards of 157mph.

Hurricane Dorian updateHurricane Dorian update: Dorian is now an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane (Image: NASA)

4am update: UK foreign office warns those travelling to Florida

The UK foreign office has warned people travelling to Florida of the potential dangers.

A statement says: "A state of emergency has been declared in Florida.

"The US National Hurricane Center predicts Dorian reaching Category 4 Hurricane strength before weakening. 

"High winds and rainfall from intense thunderstorms are anticipated. 

"You should monitor the progress of approaching storms on the US National Hurricane Centre and follow instructions issued by the local authorities, including any evacuation orders."

3am update: Orlando International Airport to cease operations

Orlando International Airport will cease commercial operations on Sunday.

The announcement was made by Phil Brown, the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority CEO.

In a statement he said: “Hurricane Dorian has strengthened and slowed.

“We don’t know exactly where Dorian is going but we do know that it will have a significant impact on the entire state of Florida.

“So in order to allow the airport’s 25 thousand employees time to secure their homes and families we feel it is prudent to cease operations in a timely .”

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