Hurricane Dorian gains strength; high surf and rip currents expected for Outer Banks

NOAA satellite image, Hurricane Dorian, Aug. 30, 2019.

Hurricane Dorian continued to gain strength Friday, with forecasters predicting the storm to reach Category 3 status this afternoon as it takes aim at Florida.

The National Hurricane Center said Dorian is still expected to strengthen into a potentially catastrophic Category 4 with winds of almost 140 mph, hitting the U.S. on Tuesday.

While Florida prepared for potentially devastating impacts, concerns for the Outer Banks include the risk of large swells and dangerous rip currents over the crowded Labor Day holiday.

“We will see impacts from Dorian through this weekend and next week, with an enhanced risk of rip currents,” the National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City office said in an email. “Please SHARE this message with the expected increase in beach attendance this Labor Day weekend.”

NWS also forecasters also warned eastern North Carolina residents not to get too fixated on models over the weekend.

“Historically we have a large error (200 miles) in the forecast track on Day 5 (which is Tuesday right now),” forecasters said in an email. “In addition the models show a large range of possibilities the middle to end of next week with Dorian, so any impacts on our area are VERY uncertain.

“Bottom line is you should be paying close attention to this storm and be prepared to monitor the forecast over the holiday weekend.”

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