TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tropical Storm Dorian is moving through the Windward Islands early Tuesday morning, retaining winds of tropical storm force, according to the 5 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.
The storm is forecast to slowly strengthen over the next 48 hours as it moves toward Puerto Rico.
“Dorian is encountering some dry air keeping it from strengthening much more as it heads toward the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico,” said Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Leigh Spann.
Puerto Rico Gov. Wanda Vázquez declared a state of emergency for the island on Monday and said that public schools will close Tuesday afternoon.
About 360 shelters are available to those without a proper roof, Vázquez said.
Forecasters say it’s far too early to determine what impacts the storm will have on South Florida.
“As of right now, residents do not yet need to activate their hurricane plan, but they should make sure they have one,” said Dennis Feltgen, spokesperson for the National Hurricane Center, on Monday.
As of 5 a.m. Tuesday, the storm is about 30 miles southeast of St. Lucia. The system is moving west-northwest at 13 miles per hour, packing maximum sustained winds near 50 miles per hour.
A Hurricane Watch is currently in effect for:
- Puerto Rico
- Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Samana
A Tropical Storm Warning is currently in effect for:
- St. Lucia
- St. Vincent and the Grenadines
- Puerto Rico
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Grenada and its dependencies
- Saba and St. Eustatius
- Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Punta Palenque
- Dominican Republic from Samana to Puerto Plata
Tropical Depression 6 has developed off the Carolina coastline and is showing signs of more persistent and organized convection.
The system is located about 365 miles southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina. It’s traveling southeast at 2 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 35 miles per hour. The storm is expected to move little through Tuesday night, then accelerate northward Wednesday, and northeastward Thursday through Saturday. Maximum sustained winds will remain near 35 miles per hour, according to the 5 a.m. advisory from the NHC.
The storm is expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Erin Tuesday night, the NHC said.