Published: 2019-09-02 04:11:00
Updated: 2019-09-03 05:23:59
Raleigh, N.C. — Hurricane Dorian is already creating strong rip currents off North Carolina's coast but the most severe impacts should come late Thursday.
A gradually northeast turn is expected to happen Wednesday and Wednesday night as Dorian runs parallel to Georgia and South Carolina. On Thursday night, North Carolina could feel wind gusts from 70 mph at the southern coast to as high as 100 to 105 mph at Cape Lookout and Cape Hatteras.
"The winds pick up Thursday morning and are at their worst Thursday evening and Thursday night," said WRAL meteorologist Mike Maze. "Of course any deviation of the track will change wind speeds and wind gusts seen there and locally. The strongest winds locally will be along and east of I-95."
An 8 p.m. updated forecast track from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm approaching North Carolina's southeast tip as a Category 2 hurricane later this week. This is an improvement from the 8 a.m. update, which showed Dorian hitting North Carolina as a Category 3 storm.
The Triangle could see 1.5 inches of rain by Friday night, and the coast could see 7 or more inches, according to Maze. The storm is expected to turn and move out to sea Friday.
"I cant emphasize enough that any deviation in the forecast track will have dire consequences if it moves farther inland," Maze said.
So far, the following areas are under evacuation orders:
Dorian, still life-threatening but now a Category 4 hurricane, is moving closer to the United States after wreaking havoc in the Bahamas on Monday. Officials in North Carolina and South Carolina have asked beach-goers to stay out of the ocean, as Dorian kicked up rip currents.