Forecasters: Florence to Take Aim at US East Coast as Major Hurricane

Forecasters: Florence to Take Aim at US East Coast as Major Hurricane

Forecasters: Florence to Take Aim at US East Coast as Major Hurricane

Hurricane Florence is rapidly strengthening and is expected to hit the USA east coast later this week as a major hurricane, according to the latest forecasted track.

Hurricane Florence is now a category 3 hurricane and continues its westerly course according to the National Hurricane Center's latest update.

As of 12pm EST, the storm was centered approximately 1,230 miles from Cape Fear, North Carolina. A major hurricane is a storm with sustained winds greater than 110 miles-per-hour. The hurricane is likely to bring risky surf and rip currents along the east coast.

Florence is forecasted to remain an "extremely risky major hurricane" through Thursday, the day when it's expected to reach the East Coast.

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", the governor told a press conference.

At this height of the Atlantic hurricane season, Florence was being trailed on east-to-west paths by two other hurricanes, Helene and Isaac.

"We expect a rapid intensification of Florence tomorrow", Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center, said on Sunday.

The animation above, consisting of high-resolution images captured every minute by the GOES-16 weather satellite, shows Florence as it strengthened yesterday from a tropical storm into a Category 1 hurricane.

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A mandatory evacuation will start at noon Tuesday for eight coastal counties, McMaster said in a press conference Monday afternoon.

"We are not going to restrict people's movements within the county until lane reversals are necessary, if they become necessary", said Sheriff's Office spokesperson Capt. It warned people at the coast and inland from SC to the mid-Atlantic region to monitor the storm's progress closely and ensure they have a hurricane plan in place.

"With this order government agencies will begin to mobilize in anticipation of a hurricane", McMaster said. The northernmost landfall was made by Hazel, a devastating and deadly storm that struck close to the South Carolina/North Carolina border in October 1954.

Sustained winds on Tuesday afternoon approached 105 miles per hour, making it a very strong Category 2 storm, though it was expected to gradually weaken over cooler waters.

Storms increase in frequency and intensity by mid-August and into September as temperatures in the Atlantic climb to their highest levels, Javaheri said.

The hurricane is set to inundate low-lying islands off the coast of North Carolina, like the Outer Banks and other barrier islands, according to the NHC's "cone of probability" forecast.

"This morning, I received a full briefing from the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Florence". The counter-clockwise rotation of hurricanes means more damage to the storm's upper right quadrant, viewing it from above, but less impact to the lower left side. Heavy rain may impact as far inland as Charlotte, North Carolina's largest city, though the severity will depend on the storm's track, according to The Charlotte Observer.

"The most likely scenario is that it hits the North Carolina coast", meteorologist Dale Eck said in an interview.

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