Operation Stormwatch: Don't Ignore Dorian

Tropical Storm Dorian is expected to become a hurricane by Tuesday evening. As the storm continues to get better organized, tropical storm conditions are expected in the Lesser Antilles tonight (Monday) and Tuesday. According to the National Hurricane Center, the risk to Puerto Rico has increased as of late; and watches/warnings will likely be posted there by the end of the day. The U.S. territory is still recovering from Hurricane Maria two years ago, and there's some concern that Dorian could be a hurricane as it approaches the island.

After that, it's hard to say. The storm could break up over land, or it could strengthen and head toward the mainland United States. It really depends on how the storm interacts with the high terrain on the island of Hispaniola, according to NHC.

The spaghetti models are all over the map, as well, but generally heading northwest toward Florida and maybe even the Gulf of Mexico. This map from South Florida's Water Management District shows the various models, and while the majority of them head up the Atlantic coast, one of takes aim squarely at Mobile Bay.

All of this means virtually nothing at the moment. It's literally too early to speculate on the path of Dorian, because there are just too many scenarios at play. But is was not even a year ago when Hurricane Michael hammered our neighbors down the Gulf Coast, the first Category 5 storm since Andrew in 1992. And we should also note that we're getting into the busiest months of hurricane season. NOAA updated its storm predictions for the second half of the season just a few weeks ago, predicting 10-17 named storms and 5-9 hurricanes. Dorian is just the fourth named storm, so we have a long way to go. Make sure your family has an updated hurricane plan, and follow the latest information with Operation Stormwatch and our local news partner NBC 15.