TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Tropical Storm Dorian's forecast cone now includes much of Florida, including Tampa Bay.
Tuesday, Dorian started traveling over the islands of Martinique and St. Lucia with up 50-mph winds. After, it will start a path toward Puerto Rico, where a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch have been issued. Rain will be a big issue for the island, says FOX 13's meteorologist Dave Osterberg.
Currently, there are favorable conditions for the storm to intensify, but there is one factor holding it back: dry air. If it wasn't for that dry air, it could have rapidly intensified.
"The wind shear is light, the water temperatures are extremely warm...what the storm as has done is it's trying to counteract that dry air," Osterberg explained. "It's walled itself off against that dry air. What that also does is it's not allowing for rapid strengthening within this storm. It doesn't have a great core."
As it passes Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Doran will encounter some higher wind shear, but as it goes through the Bahamas, it can strengthen again.
"All of a sudden, it encounters an area which is favorable for development and then it could re-strengthen as high pressure builds in off the East Coast," Osterberg said. "When you put a high pressure system up here to the north, it's going to force it a little further to the west. Now, this is the first time we're actually in the cone for this."
The Tampa Bay area could definitely get some rain, with heavier showers between Sunday and Monday. The rainfall forecast over the next seven days shows between 3 and 6 inches of rain for most of Florida, according to the Weather Prediction Center.
As of now, the Bay Area can see a 60 percent chance of rain this weekend, but that may not be the case as Dorian approaches.
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"I'm going to tell you this, the end of that 7-day forecast will change. Those numbers may go up 80 to 90 percent of rain. We'll see with the track of Dorian as it moves its way closer to the state," Osterberg said. "I know it's a holiday weekend but I want you to really keep a close eye on this forecast because we could get a lot of rain this weekend."