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Dorian to strengthen through Labor Day weekend, make US landfall as major hurricane

As Dorian spun into the warm, open waters of the Atlantic Thursday, concern grew about the storm's projected path towards the United States, where it is expected to strike as a major hurricane over the upcoming holiday weekend. The National Hurricane Center said during its 11 p.m. advisory that the storm strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. Dorian, located about 295 miles east-northeast of the Bahamas, was moving northwest at 12 mph. As Dorian, the second hurricane of the Atlantic season, tracks north of the Bahamas later this week, it is expected to reach Category 4 hurricane strength before approaching the southeastern United States coast. 
A major hurricane has the strength of a Category 3 or greater. A Category 4 hurricane has maximum sustained winds of at least 130 mph. "The strengthening to a major hurricane is projected to occur while Dorian makes a more westward turn toward the northern Bahamas this weekend," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski. "With Dorian forecast to pass over the extremely warm water of the Gulf Stream, where cooled, up welled water is rapidly replaced by more warm water, you have to be concerned that a Category 5 storm is on the table before reaching the U.S. coast," Sosnowski said. A Category 5 hurricane has maximum sustained winds of at least 157 mph. Recall that Hurricane Andrew, from August 1992 experienced rapid strengthening over the Gulf Stream prior to making landfall in South Florida. Andrew reached Category 5 status prior to making landfall. The storm made a shift to the north on Wednesday causing its center to regenerate northeast of Puerto Rico and putting forecasters on alert for development of the Atlantic's first major hurricane of the 2019 season.  
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