Hurricane Dorian Upgraded to 'Catastrophic' Category 5 as It Nears Florida

Hurricane Dorian is nearing the U.S. mainland and has been upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane. In its 8 a.m. ET update, the National Hurricane Center describes this category as "catastrophic" with "devastating winds." They also warn the hurricane could create "life threatening" storm surges and "very heavy rainfall."

The storm's projected maximum sustained wind speed is currently 160 mph.

Dorian is approximately located at 26.5N 76.5W, meaning it is 35 miles (55 km) east of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas and 225 miles (360 km) east of West Palm Beach, Florida. It is currently moving west (275 degrees) at 8 mph (13 km/h).

"At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the distinct eye of Hurricane Dorian was located near latitude 26.5 North, longitude 76.5 West. Dorian is moving toward the west near 8 mph (13 km/h), and a slower westward motion should occur for the next day or two, followed by a gradual turn toward the northwest," the NHC report states. "On this track, the core of extremely dangerous Hurricane Dorian should be moving over Great Abaco soon, and continue near or over Grand Bahama Island later tonight and Monday. The hurricane should move closer to the Florida east coast late Monday through Tuesday night."

As far as warnings and watches go, 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 the area north of Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet, and a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for the area north of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach. However, other part of Florida should remain vigilant.


"Interests elsewhere in southern and central Florida should continue
to monitor the progress of Dorian," the NHC's report states. "Additional watches or warnings may be required for portions of the east coast of Florida today."

In addition to wind winds and storm surges, the NHC also notes that rainfall in and around the effected areas could lead to "life-threatening flash floods."