Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Tropical storm Florence expected to become hurricane

Hurricane Florence tracker Hurricane Florence tracker The latest NHC path tracker for Florence
Guillermo Lane | 12 September, 2018, 09:16

That storm could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents for parts of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend.

By Saturday evening, Florence was located 810 miles southeast of Bermuda, and had winds of 70 mph.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also urged his state's residents to get ready, noting the storm already was generating swelling waves and risky currents along the coast. Drawing energy from the warm water, the now Category 2 storm could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130 miles per hour or more by Tuesday. "Thus, the intensity forecast is raised from the previous one, bringing Florence close to Category 5 strength tomorrow", NHS said.

It is expected to pickup speed, moving between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and could make landfall possibly as a Category 3 or higher on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, forecasters said.

"This storm is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", he said.

Forecasters say the hurricane's strength is expected to fluctuate but it still will be a risky storm by the time it reaches the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday.

Meantime the NHC said Tropical Storm Florence is now "a little stronger" and is expected to become a hurricane again tonight or early Sunday.

Officials in North Carolina were already bracing for impact.

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The massive hurricane poses a serious threat as it barrels toward a landfall somewhere along the East Coast on Thursday.

The second week of September is the peak of hurricane season, so the flurry of activity is no surprise to forecasters.

Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Friday night to ease load restrictions on farmers moving harvests from fields to market or storage.

"Traffic was backed up for about 9 miles (14 km) in places", said Paul Jones, a retiree who owns a home on the island. Florence was a Category 4 storm late afternoon Monday.

WSVN 7 News forecaster, Vivian Gonzalez, said on Saturday: "In the tropics, we are tracking tropical storm Florence, likely to strengthen to a major storm, maybe a Category 4 system, heading into the middle part of next week".

"Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday", the NHC said in its latest bulletin. "Florence could become a major hurricane by Monday", the NHC said.

Isaac was about 1305 miles east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph late Sunday.

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus warned on Twitter that it could become one of the worst storms in USA history. Its winds weakened Thursday when it returned to tropical storm status. Isaac's forward movement was accelerating on a path to cross into the lower Caribbean on Thursday. According to an update on the storm, it is becoming "better organized".

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