Dorian strengthens to hurricane as it threatens Puerto Rico, could hit Florida as Category 3 – NBC News

Tropical Storm Dorian strengthened to a hurricane Wednesday afternoon as it threatened the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, with forecasters predicting it could become a Category 3 hurricane by the time it hits Florida over the weekend.

Dorian became a hurricane near the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center. There were multiple observations of hurricane-force winds in St. Thomas, according to the hurricane center.

The storm was expected to move near or over the U.S. and British Virgin Islands Wednesday afternoon and then move over the Atlantic Ocean east of the southeastern Bahamas, the hurricane center said.

As of Wednesday afternoon, hurricane warnings were in effect for the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico’s island municipalities of Vieques and Culebra. A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning were in effect for Puerto Rico.

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