Tropical Storm Dorian nears Puerto Rico

8:07 p.m. ET, August 27, 2019

Here's what you need to know about Tropical Storm Dorian

Tropical Storm Dorian is on track to slam the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, an island still grappling with the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Our live coverage has ended, but keep reading CNN for more details about the storm.

Here's what we know so far:

  • About the storm: Dorian is considered a very compact storm, with tropical-storm-force winds (those ranging from 39 mph to 73 mph) extending only 45 miles from the center. Dorian is expected to dump up to 10 inches of rain over the Windward Islands and up to 8 inches in Barbados and Dominica through Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said.
  • It could become a hurricane: Dorian is forecast to intensify into a hurricane after it passes the Windward Islands and moves into the Caribbean Sea, according to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink. "The storm is still forecast to be a hurricane as it approaches Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday and Thursday," CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen said. It's expected to be a Category 1 hurricane at that point.
  • Puerto Rico braces for impact: Puerto Ricans are scrambling to stock up on supplies before Dorian approaches Wednesday evening.
  • Rescue teams are preparing for the storm: A team of over 200 people from nearly 30 different fire departments in South Florida were preparing for deployment to the Caribbean and Puerto Rico Monday, according to CNN affiliate WPLG-TV.
  • September is peak hurricane season: Dorian is the fourth named storm of this hurricane season. Generally, the season reaches a peak in the eight weeks surrounding Sept. 10.
6:44 p.m. ET, August 27, 2019

She's preparing her hurricane-ravaged home for another storm

Omar Jimenez/CNN
Omar Jimenez/CNN

Lucy Beascochea's home in Ponce, Puerto Rico was destroyed during Hurricane Maria in 2017.

She still lives there today. Beascochea stays in what she described as a secondary apartment. The tin roof over her small apartment has holes, so water leaks in every time it rains.

In the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, she applied for disaster relief from Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). She needs roughly $9,000 to repair her home. 

Beascochea said she's been preparing for Tropical Storm Dorian but she admits she’s a little nervous. Her brother has been helping her tie down the roof and cover any holes.

5:50 p.m. ET, August 27, 2019

Tropical Storm Dorian moves toward Puerto Rico

The latest forecast shows that Tropical Storm Dorian shifted slightly north and Puerto Rico may take a direct hit.

Dorian is forecast to intensify into a hurricane after it passes the Windward Islands and moves into the Caribbean Sea, according to CNN meteorologist Haley Brink.

Here's the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center:

4:32 p.m. ET, August 27, 2019

Miami fire department sends search and rescue team to Puerto Rico ahead of the storm

The Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Department will send a 45-member urban search and rescue team to Puerto Rico ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian, according to a statement.

The teams provide search and rescue support, medical support communications and damage assessment. They also coordinate the distribution of relief supplies.

What we know about the storm: The tropical storm is expected to be a Category 1 hurricane as it approaches Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic on Wednesday and Thursday, according to CNN meteorologist Dave Hennen.

By the end of the week, what's left of Dorian is expected to move toward the Bahamas and possibly southeastern parts of the mainland US.

4:03 p.m. ET, August 27, 2019

National Guard puts equipment across Puerto Rico in preparation for storm

The Puerto Rico National Guard is preparing for Tropical Storm Dorian, according to a statement from the agency.

The Puerto Rico National Guard has positioned special equipment in assigned areas throughout the island, the release said.

"We pray that this storm does not hit us directly, but it is very likely that is will pass close along the southern coast," Maj. Gen. Jose J. Reyes said in the statement.

Reyes urged residents to remain calm.

"We ask our citizens to stay calm, not speculate on the possibilities, stay informed from official news sources, take necessary precautions and to know that the PRNG is vigilant and ready to assist them if necessary," he said.

3:43 p.m. ET, August 27, 2019

San Juan mayor opens shelter at arena that can hold 500 people

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz tweeted that the city is opening a shelter at Roberto Clemente Coliseum for anyone displaced due to Tropical Storm Dorian.

The center can hold 500 people and will open at 5 p.m. ET.

 

 

 

3:27 p.m. ET, August 27, 2019

Cruise ships are changing their schedules ahead of Tropical Storm Dorian

The Carnival Breeze is pictured in 2012
The Carnival Breeze is pictured in 2012 Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines via Getty Images

Carnival Cruise Line is making some itinerary modifications to avoid the current path of Tropical Storm Dorian, the company announced today.

"Our Fleet Operations Center continues to monitor the storm and will make any adjustments as needed as the safety of our guests and crew is our number one priority," the cruise line said in a statement.

Carnival Sunrise will still depart New York today as scheduled, but it will stop in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Friday instead of Grand Turk. It will head to Amber Cove on Saturday instead of its originally planned San Juan. It's stop in Grand Turk will not be on Sunday.

Carnival Breeze, which was supposed to stop in San Juan on Wednesday, will stay at sea instead.

Meanwhile, Royal Caribbean said it has "modified the itineraries of Symphony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas, and Harmony of the Seas from Eastern to Western Caribbean routes."

Norwegian Cruise Line said it has not changed any schedules, but added officials are still "closely monitoring the projection of Tropical Storm Dorian and will provide updates accordingly."

 

3:24 p.m. ET, August 27, 2019

European forecast model shows a hurricane hitting Florida on Sunday

The European model midday update shows, for the first time for Dorian, a hurricane-strength storm reaching the Florida Peninsula.

Recent model runs of the European model, run by the European Center for Medium Range Forecasting (ECMWF), have been trending stronger over the past 48 hours.

Forecast winds from the European model show hurricane-force winds impacting Florida on Sunday morning.
Forecast winds from the European model show hurricane-force winds impacting Florida on Sunday morning.

While we shouldn't focus too much on the details of a forecast model five days in advance, it is worth noting that the model has constantly brought the center of the storm to the eastern coast of Florida, somewhere between Jacksonville and West Palm Beach. 

It is also worth noting the trend towards a stronger storm by the time it reaches Florida.

This storm certainly bears watching, not only in the near term as it approaches Puerto Rico, but also for the weekend on the mainland US East Coast.