Hurricane Dorian Strengthens to Category 5

MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on Hurricane Dorian (all times local):

8 a.m.

Weather forecasters say Hurricane Dorian has intensified to a Category 5 storm, capable of inflicting catastrophic levels of destruction.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday that Dorian’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 160 mph (260 kph), up from 150 mph (240 kph). It is moving west at 8 mph (13 kph)

“Devastating hurricane conditions” are expected in the Abacos Islands early Sunday, with conditions will spread across Grand Bahama Island later in the day, the center said.

In its advisory at 8 a.m. EDT, the center says the storm’s center is 35 miles (55 kilometers) east of Great Abaco Island and 225 miles (360 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach.

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5:15 a.m.

As Hurricane Dorian moves closer to the northern Bahamas, rainfall estimates have gone up for the Caribbean archipelago and the coastal Carolinas.

At around 5 a.m. Sunday, the center of the Category 4 storm was around 70 miles (110 kilometers) east of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas and 255 miles (410 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach, Florida. The hurricane is still moving west at 8 mph (13 kph), with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (240 kph).

A tropical storm warning was issued between Deerfield Beach up to Sebastian Inlet on southern Florida’s east coast, while a tropical storm watch was issued between Deerfield Beach down to Golden Beach.

The National Hurricane Center’s rainfall estimates for the northwestern Bahamas were upped to 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60 centimeters), with isolated incidents of 30 inches (76 centimeters), while estimates for the coastal Carolinas were between 5 to 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of rain, with isolated cases of 15 inches (38 centimeters).

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1:50 a.m.

Hurricane Dorian is moving ever closer to the northern Bahamas.

Early Sunday, the Category 4 storm was around 95 miles (150 kilometers) east of Great Abaco Island in the Bahamas and 280 miles (450 kilometers) east of West Palm Beach, Florida. The hurricane continues to move west at 8 mph (13 kph), with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (240 kph).

The core of the storm is expected to be near or over parts of the northwestern Bahamas later Sunday.

Millions of U.S. coastal dwellers from Florida to the Carolinas are keeping a wary eye on Dorian’s approach. Forecasters say many computer models indicate Dorian is expected to veer sharply northeastward and track up the Southeast seaboard, raising the risks of damaging winds and deadly flooding even if there’s no direct U.S. landfall.

To read the full AP News article, click here.

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