Weather

Tropical Storm Dorian May Hit Puerto Rico, If It Makes It That Long

Portrait of a hurricane as a young storm

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Tropical storm Dorian, the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season's fourth tropical cyclone, appears to be heading for a close encounter with Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, and Cuba during the first half of next week, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

That is, if it makes it that far.

Although forecasters have projected a track out through next Wednesday, Dorian might not last that long. The storm currently is quite ragged. And over the next 24 hours or more, it will be entering a more-hostile atmospheric environment: dry air and wind shear, a change in wind speed or direction with height. Shear stunts the growth of storm clouds by robbing them of moisture and the heat that's released as water vapor condenses into cloud droplets.