It's intensifying and is probably going to make landfall on the Florida Eastcoast as a category 4+ hurricane with President Trump claiming Florida faces an "absolute monster."
Hurricane Dorian began gaining power last night jumping from 85 mph (137 kmh) to 105 mph (165 kmh) and with higher wind gusts, making it a Category 2 storm on the 5-step Saffir-Simpson scale for measuring hurricane intensity, according to Reuters.
“Now it’s looking like it could be an absolute monster,” Trump said in a video posted on Twitter, adding that food and water were being shipped to Florida.
“It does seem almost certain that it’s hitting dead centre and that’s not good. The winds seem to be building at a tremendous rate. It looks like the winds are going to be unbelievably high.”
If Dorian makes landfall at that strength, this will be the third straight year the U.S. has endured a landfalling major hurricane – a streak not accomplished in nearly 60 years, according to the Weather Channel.
After a 12-year lull in U.S. major hurricane landfalls (those with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph), Hurricane Harvey slammed into the central Texas coast on Aug. 25, 2017, near Rockport as a Category 4 with winds of 130 mph. Before Harvey, the most recent major hurricane landfall had been in 2005, when Hurricane Wilma made landfall in southwestern Florida.
Just when we were hoping to start another long streak of no major hurricanes, Irma made landfall a few weeks later, Sept. 10, 2017, in the Florida Keys. Irma was also a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph; It made another major hurricane landfall a few hours later in southwestern Florida with winds of 115 mph. Before arriving in Florida, Irma's eyewall also affected the U.S. Virgin Islands when it was a Category 5.
Little more than a week later, Hurricane Maria made a stunning third American Category 4 landfall in a single year on Sept. 20, 2017, on the southeastern shores of Puerto Rico with winds of 155 mph.
Maria was responsible for $93.6 billion in damage and an estimated 2,981 deaths in the U.S. It was the deadliest hurricane to strike the U.S.
or its territories since the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, which claimed at least 8,000 lives.
Hurricane Michael then added to the U.S.'s streak of major hurricane landfalls on Oct. 10, 2018, when it roared ashore along the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5.
It was only the fourth Category 5 U.S. hurricane landfall on record and the first since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Hurricane Camille in 1969 along the Mississippi Gulf Coast and the Florida Keys Labor Day Hurricane in 1935 were the only other U.S. Category 5 landfalls on record.
Michael was the third-most-intense hurricane landfall in the U.S. based on minimum central pressure, topping extreme hurricanes such as Andrew and Katrina.
Now, there's a high likelihood that Hurricane Dorian will continue this major hurricane landfall streak for a third straight year. That hasn't happened in the U.S. since 1959-61 – nearly 60 years ago. The latest forecast calls for Dorian to be a Category 3 or 4 hurricane as it bears down on Florida over Labor Day weekend.
Hurricanes and cyclones