Hurricane Dorian has grown into a category 2 storm, packing winds up to 110 mph, and is expected to strengthen even further as it continues on its path towards The Bahamas.
Islands in the northwestern Bahamas are now under hurricane watch, which means that hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
In its 8 a.m. advisory, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm is moving at 12 mph.
“Strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and Dorian is expected to become a major hurricane later today,” the advisory said. “Dorian is likely to remain an extremely dangerous hurricane while it moves near the northwestern Bahamas and approaches the Florida peninsula through the weekend.
“Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.”
Chief Meteorologist Geoffrey Greene said residents need to be in preparation mode as the Department of Meteorology expects to soon issue a hurricane warning for the northwestern islands.
Once a warning is issued, hurricane conditions are expected within 36 hours.
“It is almost certain that the hurricane will affect parts of the northwest Bahamas,” Greene said said on Morning Blend with Dwight Strachan.
“Right now, it’s aimed at Abaco and Grand Bahama. That doesn’t mean that [people] in Eleuthera, or Berry Islands, or Andros or New Providence should relax.
“We also have to prepare in case that storm shifts a little bit more south, which means that we will [experience] tropical storm conditions and that means that we could feel the brunt of that storm, especially if it becomes more organized, or it becomes a major category 4 storm.
Greene said residents in the affected areas ought to begin to activate their hurricane plans.
“That means… you should get your plywood and do what you need to do to put them up. Get your water, get your medication. You should have your hurricane plan,” he said.
“If you know your house won’t make it through the storm, forget about your house and move to wherever you know that you will be safe.”
Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis is expected to address the nation at noon today.