As Hurricane Dorian strengthens and its trajectory continues to lock in on Florida, it’s time to prepare for what could be in store.
In Manatee County, wind and rain are likely to start picking by Thursday night.
As of Wednesday night, the National Weather Service in Tampa is forecasting that the local weather conditions will get more extreme through the Labor Day weekend, with tropical storm conditions possible by Sunday.
Thursday is expected to be a fairly normal summer day with highs in the 90s and a 30 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms likely in the afternoon.
By Thursday night, winds of around 9 mph are possible.
On Friday, northeast winds of up to 10 mph are expected to kick in, and the chance of storms goes up to 90 percent; rain is most likely after 2 p.m.
Wind speeds of 11 mph and continued heavy rain are likely on Saturday.
By Sunday, the NWS says that tropical storm conditions are possible. The higher winds are most likely to start after 8 a.m. and persist into the evening.
Rain chances remain high through next Wednesday, according to a seven-day forecast from NWS.
There are no advisories, watches or warnings in place, but officials advise residents to begin storm preparations.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Manatee County officials did not yet have plans to activate the Emergency Operations Center.
However, emergency personnel are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Dorian. Sand bags will soon be available for county residents, and officials suggest getting a storm preparedness plan together and visiting MyManatee.org/ManateeReady for a list of tips and supplies for local households.
The NWS reports that Hurricane Dorian is expected to strengthen into a powerful hurricane as it moves northwest over the Atlantic at about 13 mph.
“On this track, Dorian should move over the Atlantic well east of the southeastern and central Bahamas on Thursday and Friday,” NWS said late Wednesday night.
Currently a Catgeory 1 hurricane, forecasters predict the storm could upgrade to a Category 3 or higher by the time it approaches the east coast of Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has issued a state of emergency for 26 counties that are potentially in the path on the storm.
“Every Florida resident should have seven days of supplies, including food, water and medicine, and should have a plan in case of disaster,” the statement said.