Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 2 storm

Kerry GarnerSep 11, 2018

Hurricane Florence is expected to be back at major hurricane status sometime Monday, and could impact the mid-Atlantic coast late this week as a category 4 hurricane.

Florence was centered approximately 575 miles south-southeast of Bermuda and around 1,230 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, as of 12 p.m. ET, according to the NHC. "On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday". "For perspective, that's nearly *double* the previous all-time record for an East Coast hurricane".

While the surf height at local beaches is estimated at just 3 feet Monday, the risk for life-threatening rip currents in the surf zone remains high.

Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center say Florence is expected to be an extremely risky storm by the time it nears the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday.

"Florence has continued to rapidly strengthen", it said.

It's not just North Carolina that is "taking Hurricane Florence seriously", either, in SC and Virginia residents have also declared states of emergency following the updates on the storm.

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. Further, residents and tourists should expect heavy prolonged rain upon the storm's arrival.

Tropical Storm Gordon brings hurricane watch to Gulf Coast
Tropical Storm Gordon now has maximum sustained winds of 45 miles per hour and is moving to the WNW at 17 miles per hour. Various watches and warnings are in effect for portions of the Gulf Coast from Florida Bay to east of Morgan City, La.

President Donald Trump issued a strong warning to those in the path of Hurricane Florence, which is on track to hit the East Coast as a major storm later this week.

Florence is the third hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, after Hurricane Chris (Category 1) and Hurricane Beryl (Category 2), which formed in early July but didn't make landfall.

"This morning, I received a full briefing from the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Florence".

As for Helene, it is about 305 miles west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands and has maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. With winds of 75 miles per hour, it's expected to strengthen a bit before weakening as it approaches the Lesser Antilles on Thursday and Friday.

In addition, in the Pacific, what's now Hurricane Olivia is forecast to approach Hawaii as a tropical storm on Tuesday.

Isaac is expected to gain strength in the next day or two before beginning to weaken mid-week when it approaches the Lesser Antilles. It would also mean a "massive rain event" from as far north as Virginia all the way down to SC.

The first shows the probability of tropical storm force winds and the second map shows the probability of hurricane force winds.

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