TROPICAL UPDATE: Dorian now forecast to become a category 4 prior to landfall

Major impacts to Florida on Labor Day

TROPICAL UPDATE: Dorian now forecast to become a category 4 prior to landfall

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Hurricane Dorian is now out over the open waters of the warm Atlantic Ocean and has its sights set on rapidly intensifying into a major hurricane by Friday morning.

HURRICANE DORIAN now projected to be a Category 4 storm prior to landfall Monday morning along the East Coast of Florida. Any impacts to Louisiana still appear to be highly unlikely.

Posted by KPLC 7 News on Thursday, August 29, 2019

The storm missed the islands of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola which did not allow any real weakening before returning to the open waters after slamming the tiny U.S. Virgin Islands earlier this week with hurricane-force-wind gusts.

There is really nothing to impede development now as wind shear has relaxed and the drier air surrounding the storm has moved away leaving nothing to stop rapid development over the next 24 to 48 hours.

A ridge of high pressure to the north will be what steers the storm from a NW direction to more of a westerly direction toward Florida with landfall expected Monday morning with winds in excess of 130 mph, making Dorian a category 4 hurricane.

Once the storm moves inland over the Florida Peninsula, a growing consensus of computer models show a weakness in the ridge creating a pathway for Dorian to turn northward, slowing down over Georgia and the Carolinas through late next week.

This track would mean no impacts seen for anyone in Louisiana other than drier air getting pulled down from the north which will limit rain chances for most of next week and keep high afternoon temperatures in place and lower humidity which will give us a break from the 105 to 110 heat index values.

For now, we need to stay aware and keep a close monitor of the track of Dorian but not be concerned about impacts to Louisiana. The First Alert Weather Team will let you know if anything changes that would mean impactful weather to Louisiana which at this time looks highly unlikely next week.

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