MIAMI - As an increasingly menacing-looking Hurricane Dorian threatened to broadside Florida over Labor Day weekend, live camera feeds in the state’s coastline were set up to capture the storm's impacts.
Surfline, a marine forecasting company, has positioned a number of live-stream cameras in several locations along Florida’s coastline, including Miami-Dade County’s South Beach, Broward County’s Deerfield Beach and Palm Beach' County's Delray Public Beach.
Dorian could hit practically anywhere in Florida because the weather forces that will determine it path have not yet had their showdown, meteorologists said.
As of Thursday, the National Hurricane Center (https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/) had most of eastern Florida in a cone of uncertainty, meaning the entire region was at risk.
Forecasters are fairly confident about one thing: Dorian will be powerful.
With 86-degree water as fuel and favorable moist winds, there's little to prevent the storm from powering up.
On top of that, the warmer-than-normal water is running deeper than usual, adding more fuel. The hurricane center predicts Dorian will make landfall on Labor Day as a Category 4 storm with 130 mph winds.
Forecasters also said Dorian could bring 4 to 8 inches of rain to the Southeastern coast, with a foot possible in places, and trigger life-threatening flash floods.
Stacy Stewart, a senior hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center, said there's a chance for a "fairly dramatic" change in storm direction on Saturday based on what's happening in the atmosphere and the storm altering its own environment, helping to steer its own path.
The forces that will determine Dorian's fate — and that of Florida — are already at work.
A high pressure system is building over Bermuda, acting as a wall and blocking storms from curving north, which is a natural pathway. It is essentially pushing Dorian westward, more toward densely populated southern Florida, said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy.
Meanwhile, a low pressure system in the Midwest is chugging eastward. When it clashes with the Bermuda high, there's a chance it will nibble away at the western edges, allowing a weakening in that wall and pulling Dorian to the northwest toward Cape Canaveral or Jacksonville, with a small chance of the storm heading north of Florida, said Weather Underground Meteorology Director Jeff Masters, who used to fly into hurricanes for forecasts.
Whichever one of those forces wins — the blocking high or the pulling low — Florida is likely to lose.
"If it makes landfall as a Category 3 or 4 hurricane, that's a big deal," Colorado State hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said. "A lot of people are going to be affected. A lot of insurance claims. It's still quite an ordeal.“
Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency, clearing the way to bring in more fuel and call out the National Guard if necessary, and local governments distributed sandbags. Some residents used community Facebook groups to share updates on grocery stores getting new shipments of water.
Dorian blew through the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico as a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.