Your move, Dorian: Hurricane slows to a crawl as Florida waits

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Hurricane Dorian slowed from a crawl to a complete stop Monday afternoon after being downgraded to a Category 4 storm, still packing winds of 130 mph.

The high pressure system that was steering Dorian last week collapsed Monday, as expected. For now, the hurricane has all but stalled out over Grand Bahama Island.

LINK: Track Dorian on

While the latest projections show a landfall in Florida remains unlikely, meteorologists stress that until the northerly turn occurs, residents and visitors should continue to monitor the storm's path. 

A trough moving across the U.S. will ultimately become the steering mechanism that will pull Dorian northwest, then north, then off to the northeast. 

“The westward motion has pretty much stopped,” FOX 13 chief meteorologist Paul Dellegatto offered. “And by later tonight, it will start moving to the northwest.” 

As of the Monday evening advisory, Dorian was about 100 miles east off the coast of West Palm Beach with winds of 130 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend out about 45 miles from the storm’s eye, with the strongest winds remaining on the east side of the storm. 

“Confidence continues to increase that the center of the storm will stay off of Florida’s east coast. However, that does not mean there won’t be impacts,” meteorologist Tyler Eliasen warned. “Hurricane-force wind gusts will still be possible along the east coast, especially north of the Treasure Coast, even if the storm stays 50 miles offshore.”

Hurricane watches and warnings are in place along the east coast. The slow-moving Dorian will generate large waves and surge along the east coast for nearly two days. Beach erosion and coastal flooding are likely. It will steadily weaken as it moves north through the middle of the week. 

The following watches and warnings have been issued: 

A storm surge warning is in effect for:
- Lantana to Altamaha Sound

A storm surge watch is in effect for:
- North of Deerfield Beach to south of Lantana
- Altamaha Sound to South Santee River

A hurricane warning is in effect for:
- Grand Bahama and the Abacos Islands in the northwestern Bahamas
- Jupiter Inlet to Ponte Vedra Beach

A hurricane watch is in effect for: 
- North of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet
- North of Ponte Vedra Beach to South Santee River

A tropical storm warning is in effect for: 
- North of Deerfield Beach to Jupiter Inlet

A tropical storm watch is in effect for:
- North of Golden Beach to Deerfield Beach
- Lake Okeechobee

There are, currently, no major impacts expected in the Tampa Bay area. However, there is a chance Polk and Highlands counties could experience a few tropical storm-force wind gusts, based on the projected path. 

Schools in those counties are closed through Wednesday, but all other Bay Area counties plan to reopen school on Wednesday.

LINK: Track Dorian on

Dorian is now tied for the strongest Atlantic hurricane landfall on record with the 1935 Labor Day hurricane. The National Hurricane Center said Dorian made landfall at Elbow Cay, Abacos around 12:40 p.m. Sunday, followed by a second landfall at 2 p.m. on Great Abaco Island near Marsh Harbour.

The first reported hurricane death was a 7-year-old boy, according to The Bahama Press. The media outlet reported Lachino Mcintosh drowned while his family was trying to relocate them from their home in Abaco. The boy's sister is also reportedly missing, according to a tweet sent out late Sunday by The Bahama Press.