Florence expected to become hurricane, heading to southeast US
11 September, 2018, 00:49 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
The storm had grown from a Cat 2 to 3 storm earlier on Monday, and was identified as a Cat 4 shortly after noon.
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus had a three-letter reaction to the news that Hurricane Florence is now a category 4 storm with 115mph winds and higher gusts. The storm is already 500 miles wide - meaning a large area will be at risk when it nears land.
The storm may sit over parts of the mid-Atlantic for days, like Harvey did in Texas previous year, bringing major flooding to an area that has already seen above-average rainfall in recent months.
Hurricane Isaac is holding steady in strength over the Atlantic. It is moving to the west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.
The hurricane's impacts could range from a strong storm surge to flooding from torrential rainfall and hurricane-force winds.
Forecasters are also tracking two more hurricanes that have formed to the east of Florence: Hurricane Helene, which strengthened to a Category 2 storm off the west coast of Africa today, and Hurricane Isaac, a Category 1 storm now located roughly halfway between Florence and Helene. North Carolina seems to be the state that could bear the brunt of the winds, along with SC and parts of southern Virginia.
As of 11 a.m., Hurricane Florence is now a Category 3 storm, and is likely to strengthen. SC has been hit by three Category 4 storms: Hazel; Gracie, in 1959; and Hugo, in 1989.
The center of Florence was forecast to sweep between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before making its assault on the US coast.
The hurricane center said the storm is expected to strengthen and speed up as it approaches the Carolina coast in the coming days.
Florence, now a Category 4 storm on the five-level Saffir-Simpson hurricane scale, could approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday.
North Carolina residents similarly need to make their own preparations by stocking up on water, non-perishable foods and batteries, getting medications and important documents in order and clearing debris from their yards, Cooper said. People in coastal communities are taking all precautions.
Forecasters said it is too early to know the exact path Florence will take but warned that it could roll ashore in the Carolinas by Thursday.
Meterologists say Florence could be of "unprecedented strength" by the time it makes landfall on America's east coast.
A slew of unsafe storms - hurricanes, tropical storms and a typhoon - are on the move and threatening life and property in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
N.C. Emergency Management is coordinating with counties, the federal emergency management agency and other key partners ahead of the storm. Storms in that part of the ocean usually veer away from the U.S.
A tropical storm watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area within 48 hours. Tropical storms generate winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour, just below hurricane force.
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Expect heavy rain and storms to ramp up with some stronger storms on the table Sunday afternoon, especially in eastern Kentucky. We have avoided significant rainfall for most of the area so far this month but that changes quickly starting this evening.
Emergency officials have told residents to expect immediate threats of ocean swells, risky rip currents and coastal flooding. EDT, the Miami-based hurricane center said Florence's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 65 miles per hour .
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