Dorian becomes hurricane as it nears the US Virgin Islands

MIAMI– The National Hurricane Center says Dorian has become a hurricane as it nears the US Virgin Islands.

A National Hurricane Center meteorologist says the threat to the U.S. mainland from  Dorian has grown, with forecasts showing it could hit southeast coast as a Category 3 hurricane.

Dennis Feltgen says Dorian may also grow in size and could land anywhere from South Florida to South Carolina on Sunday or Monday.

The latest, still-uncertain extended forecast shows the storm’s sustained winds could grow to about 115 mph (185 kph) before landfall.

Feltgen says that “with Dorian now getting better organized and the center shifting to the north and the east, now we have a stronger system coming out of the eastern Caribbean Sea and entering the southeast Atlantic.” He says that gives it “more time and more distance to strengthen in the warm waters.”

Feltgen said Wednesday that the storm was smaller and more difficult to forecast earlier in the week, but that may change after it passes Puerto Rico.

In his words, “This will be a large storm approaching the Southeast.”

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