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Tropical Storm Dorian prompts several hurricane watches

Tuesday, August 27th 2019, 8:28 pm - Significant rainfall and powerful winds are possible

Tropical Storm Dorian passed through the Windward Islands Tuesday, bringing torrential rains and strong winds. Widespread outages were reported in Barbados, though the island's government said most businesses would likely be able to open Wednesday. Beyond, the slowly-strengthening is set to have an impact on Puerto Rico and the island of Hispaniola.

SEE ALSO: Potential tropical system eyes Atlantic Canada

STORM LIKELY TO STRENGTHEN AS IT APPROACHES PUERTO RICO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

The storm has cleared the Windward Islands, and is set to move across the northeastern Caribbean into Wednesday morning, passing over or near western and central Puerto Rico on Wednesday and passing near the eastern coast of Hispaniola Wednesday night.

"Slow strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours, and Dorian is forecast to be near hurricane strength when it approaches Puerto Rico on Wednesday," the U.S. National Hurricane Centre said in its 8 p.m. bulletin Tuesday. "Some weakening is expected after Dorian moves across the higher terrain of Puerto Rico Wednesday night. Dorian is expected to gradually re-strengthen on Thursday and Friday while passing near or to the east of the Turks and Caicos and southeastern Bahamas."

A tropical storm warning and a hurricane watch have been issued for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Dominican Republic from Isla Saona to Samana, and the Dominican Republic has issued a tropical storm watch from Samana to Puerto Plata. A hurricane watch is issued before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force winds and conditions that make outdoor preparations difficult or dangerous.

By next weekend, it is likely to be approaching the Bahamas and South Florida, albeit in a weakened state. While the exact track remains to be seen, those with interests in the eastern Caribbean should monitor the progress of this storm.

The tropics have been relatively quiet for June, July and so far most of August. The climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season falls on about September 10, so the span from late August to early October tends to be the most active time of the year. The season runs from June 1 to November 30. Last year, Hurricane Florence (Category 1 at landfall) and Hurricane Michael (Category 5 at landfall) both occurred in the second half of the season.

WATCH BELOW: EXPLAINING THE "SAHARAN AIR LAYER" AND HOW IT DESTROYS POTENTIAL HURRICANES

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