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Hurricane watches, warnings extended into the mid-Atlantic ahead of Hurricane Dorian

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Posted at 6:36 PM, Sep 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 18:36:52-04

While Florida might be spared from a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian, the same might not be true for the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center has issued hurricane warnings, which as of Tuesday evening, now extend to Surf City, N.C. A hurricane watch has been issued for the North Carolina coast north of Surf City.

Meanwhile, the entire South Carolina coast is under a hurricane warning.

Why?

The forecast for Dorian calls for the eye to brush the Carolina coast. The official forecast has the center of Dorian near Charleston, S.C. by Thursday afternoon. The track could take Dorian inland, or out to sea.

Regardless, the National Hurricane Center said that Dorian's expanse of damaging winds is growing in size, even as Dorian's top wind speeds have decreased. Hurricane-force winds now extend 60 miles from Dorian's center, and tropical storm-force winds extend 175 miles.

Even if Dorian's center narrowly misses the coast, residents near the South and North Carolina coastlines could see hurricane-force winds on Thursday and Friday.

As of 6 p.m. Thursday, Dorian's had top winds of 110 MPH - 1 MPH shy of major hurricane status. The National Hurricane Center is forecasting that Dorian will maintain category 2 status while increasing the size of its wind field.

Although a direct hit us unlikely, much of the Virginia coast is under a tropical storm watch as Dorian's large expanse of winds could make for tropical storm conditions for Virginia Beach.