Even though Dorian has been "downgraded" to a Category 2 storm, it remains a powerful, potentially more dangerous hurricane.
"The headline for this Dorian advisory is NOT that the wind speed has slightly decreased," the National Hurricane Center said with its 11 a.m. report, when the winds were reduced to 110 mph. "The combined wind, surge and flood hazards are the same or even worse since the hurricane has become larger."
How much larger? As of 11 a.m. EST, hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles from the storm's center, up from 45 miles earlier in the day. (Hurricane-force winds are 74 mph or stronger.)
That means hurricane-force winds are expected along parts of the Florida coast later Tuesday evening, and will spread northward up the coast on Wednesday, according to WeatherBug.
"Tropical storm-force winds in excess of 39 mph will reach far inland into central and northern Florida as the hurricane moves northward parallel to the coast," the firm said in an online report.
"Although Dorian's top winds are weakening, the circulation is getting spread over a larger area, so there will still be plenty of wind energy pushing water toward the Southeast coast," said Weather Underground meteorologist Robert Henson, in an e-mail to USA TODAY.
Because the storm is growing in size, Colorado State University meteorologist Phil Klotzbach warned, it is "still quite dangerous" for the southeast U.S.
"Assuming the track doesn't deviate to the left too much, Florida should be spared the worst potential impacts, but it could still have very significant impacts for Georgia and especially the Carolinas later this week," Klotzbach said in an e-mail.