dorian 8/31 11 am update
The current forecast for Hurricane Dorian as of 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31. Data provided by NOAA. (Kristen Kornbluth/Staff)

Hurricane Dorian grew even stronger Saturday morning to rank among the more powerful hurricanes on record in the Atlantic. It could be headed to the South Carolina coast.
But the leading computer models had begun to suggest the storm just might stay offshore. The computer runs still diverge, though, and forecasters said again the track is highly uncertain.
In South Carolina, Gov. Henry McMaster was meeting with state and local officials to ramp up preparations for the storm.
At 11 a.m., Dorian maximum sustained winds approached 150 mph, a devastating Category 4 storm. It was headed west toward the Bahamas, showing a form that National Hurricane Center specialist Lixion Avila called outstanding. It could get worse.
“Dorian is forecast to move over a deep layer of very warm waters, which is like high octane-fuel for hurricanes,” Avila said.
Computer models were in wide disagreement where it might turn after Monday. National Hurricane Center specialist Jack Beven called the forecast track problematic.
The strengthening storm became a bigger problem for more people overnight, and the risk of strong winds and storm surge has increased for South Carolina.
Landfall could now be anywhere from Florida to North Carolina, if the storm makes landfall at all.
“The risk of strong winds and life-threatening storm surge is increasing along the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina during the middle of next week. Residents in those areas should continue to monitor the progress of Dorian,” Beven said. “Heavy rains, capable of life-threatening flash floods, are expected over portions of the Bahamas and coastal sections of the southeastern United States this weekend through much of next week.”

The preferred track of the leading models continued to be for the storm to skirt the Southeast coast through the week, along or just offshore. That would be similar to the destructive path of Hurricane Matthew in 2016, which flattened half the dunes along a 177-mile stretch from Florida to North Carolina.
“Getting ‘Matthew 2016’ Excedrin headaches now,” tweeted meteorologist Jonathan Erdman, of the Weather Channel, early Saturday. 

If the storm continues up or near the coast, South Carolina could feel the brunt of it starting Wednesday but throughout the day Thursday, according to the model runs. Downpours of a foot and flooding or more are possible, and wind gusts strong enough to knock down trees and tear off roofs. If the storm rides up the coast, it could bring hurricane conditions.