Dorian, with top sustained winds of 50 miles (80 kilometers) per hour, was 505 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands as of 5:00 pm Wednesday, and was moving west-northwest at 20 mph, a NHC advisory said.
“Slight weakening is possible on Thursday as Dorian moves over cooler water,” Stacy Stewart, a senior hurricane specialist at the NHC, noted in the advisory.
As the fourth named system of the Atlantic season, Dorian is ahead of schedule: from 1966 to 2009, the fourth system typically formed by August 23, according to the NHC’s website.
Stewart said weather models are in good agreement that Dorian will continue to move west. The NHC’s forecast maps, which project only five days ahead, show it tracking north of Puerto Rico by July 29.
The storm is nevertheless thought likely to encounter unfavourable conditions for development such as wind shear, cooler ocean water and dry air.
Provided Dorian can hold together as it crosses the Atlantic, some forecasters believe there’s a possibility it may bring wind and rain to the Bahamas and/or the southern United States early next week.