Close to Hurricane Dorian forecast cone, Broward County officials watching storm closely


People line up to buy water at a store before the arrival of Hurricane Dorian, in Freeport, Bahamas, on August 30, 2019.

At this time, it's too early to know the exact magnitude and location of any impacts from damaging winds, storm surge or flooding rainfall in Florida and the rest of the Southeast, but a tropical storm watch has been issued for portions of Florida's east coast from Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet.

Dorian's forward motion has been slowing because a high pressure ridge to its north, which has been helping push it to the west, is weakening.

Shoppers wait in line to get two cases of bottled water ‚ the limit per customer, at the Costco store in Altamonte Springs, Fla., Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, as central Florida residents prepare for a possible strike by Hurricane Dorian.

Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center, says the storm is slowing down as it prepares to turn north.

"It's going to be really, really bad for the Bahamas", Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami says Dorian's maximum sustained winds have increased to 175 mph, up from 150 mph, with gusts over 200mph and it is moving west at 8 mph. He noted the ocean is quite deep near where he's staying, and there's a cay that provides protection, so he doesn't expect significant storm surge.

Eastern Daylight Time on Sunday, September 1, 2019, due to the presence of Hurricane Dorian that is a Category 4 hurricane with 150 miles per hour winds approaching Florida.

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Hurricane Dorian was predicted to be about 20 miles east north-east of Great Abaco Island, and 205 miles east of West Palm Beach in Florida.

"We have been for the last few days asking all tourists to leave the island in anticipation of the hurricane", said Kwasi Thompson, minister of state for Grand Bahama.

As much as 64 inches of rain could fall over the northern Bahamas once Dorian reaches the archipelago, according to storm models.

Hurricane Michael was the last Category 5 storm to make landfall in the USA, striking Florida last October.

Jeffrey Allen, who lives in Freeport on Grand Bahama, said he had learned after several storms that sometimes predictions of damage don't materialize, but he still takes precautions.

Dorian's forecasted track, however, has shifted slightly north, which means there's a chance it could just miss South Florida.

Dorian's wind speeds put the storm among the most risky in recent history.

Dorian could also make landfall in the eastern Carolinas Wednesday or Thursday and rake eastern New England with rain by the end of the week, said Brett Rathbun, a meteorologist with AccuWeather State College, Pennsylvania.