Tropical Storm Dorian moves westward toward Puerto Rico

Here we go again.

Tropical Storm Dorian is on a path to arrive near Puerto Rico by Monday. That could put the Southeast coast at risk.

The storm, should it reach the Palmetto State, would continue to compound the Lowcountry’s heavy rainfall and flooding. June and July have continued to be about 1½ times wetter than a normal Charleston summer, and so far, 2013 has produced 14 inches more than by this time last year.

Dorian is the fourth storm of the season so far. It is the second storm, after Tropical Storm Chantal, that has formed near the Cape Verde Islands — something that usually doesn’t occur before August. Cape Verde storms have produced such intense storms as Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and the Category 4 Galveston hurricane of 1900.

Dorian has already reached sustained maximum wind speeds near 50 mph, faster than previous tropical storms Barry and Chantal.

As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center reported the storm as nearly 500 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands, continuing on a west-by-northwest trajectory toward arrival in Puerto Rico by 2 p.m. Monday. Gusts of tropical-storm-force winds extend up to 45 miles from the center of the storm.

There is also a 20 percent chance of another tropical cyclone forming in the next 48 hours nearly 500 miles east of Bermuda.

The National Hurricane Center expects the storm to weaken on Thursday as it moves to colder waters.

Historically, tropical storms that begin in the Cape Verde area have tended to veer away from the U.S. coastline, according to Weather Underground,.

Reach Nick Watson at 937-4810.

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