SOUTHEAST N.C. — Wind and rain have moved into the Wilmington area already ahead of Hurricane Dorian and tornado warnings have been issued in New Hanover County.
Note: The tornado watch stemmed from a cyclonic system in the Topsail area, in or near Rich Inlet. The warning it through 8 a.m. – but further warnings are likely to follow.
The Tornado warnings were announced early Thursday morning as the outer bands of Dorian approach the Cape Fear Region. Dorian has strengthened since yesterday and is currently a Category 3 hurricane with sustained winds of 115-miles-per-hour. That’s about a 5-mph increase from a strong Category 2 storm on Wednesday afternoon (Category 3 storms are from 111 to 129 mph).
“Hurricane Dorian remains a strong hurricane as it tracks slowly north off the coast of southern South Carolina. Dorian will turn to the northeast, later this afternoon, and will pass very close to Cape Fear tonight. The risk of hazardous conditions will increase across the region, including damaging winds, life-threatening storm surge inundation, flash flooding, strong rip currents, and severe beach erosion,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
Despite the early arrival of wind and rain, tropical-storm-force winds are not expected to reach the area until later Thursday with hurricane conditions reaching the region early Friday morning.
Port City Daily will provide updates to Hurricane Dorian as it approaches.