Hurricane Dorian's winds remain at 150 mph with the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center and the Carolina coast remains in the forecast cone.
As of 5 a.m. Sunday, the hurricane continued to have maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. A Category 5 storm has winds of at least 156 mph.
FOX8 Chief Meteorologist Van Denton says the latest track has the storm nearing the Florida coast Tuesday morning and then turning north. "On the current track, it could move into the Carolinas on Thursday."
On Friday, N.C. Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, and put a price-gouging law into effect.
As of 5 a.m. Sunday, the hurricane is about 225 miles from West Palm Beach, Florida. A Tropical Storm Warning has now been issued for the east coast of Florida from Deerfield Beach to Sebastian Inlet. A Tropical Storm Watch has been issued from north of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach.
Dorian is moving west at about 8 mph and a slower westward motion should occur for the next day or two, followed by a gradual turn toward the northwest. On this track, the core of Dorian should be near or over portions of the northwestern Bahamas later today and tonight, and should move closer to the Florida east coast late Monday through Tuesday night.
Regardless of the exact track of Dorian, heavy rains are expected to hit parts of Florida and the southeastern U.S. this weekend and into the middle of next week.
According to the National Hurricane Center, some fluctuations in intensity are likely, but Dorian is expected to remain a powerful hurricane during the next few days.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 30 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 105 miles.
Even if Dorian's center does not make landfall in Florida, it still could hug the coastline Tuesday and Wednesday, ripping parts of the state with destructive winds and storm surges, and heavy rain.
Such a scenario would be similar to 2016's Hurricane Matthew, a storm that did nearly $5 billion worth of damage in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Matthew approached Florida and headed north, staying just offshore before moving along South Carolina's coast without making a major landfall.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told Floridians on Saturday morning they must continue to prepare.
"Understand: Even if it doesn't directly strike Florida ... you're looking at major flooding events," DeSantis said at a news conference in Tallahassee.