Saturday, 24 August, 2019

Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 2 storm

Patty Aguilar | 11 September, 2018, 18:09

Florence is a 140-mph, major Category 4 storm, moving to the west-northwest at 13 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center's latest advisory.

Hurricane Florence is plowing toward the East Coast as a Category 4 storm with a 500-mile wing span, forcing dire warnings and mandatory evacuations - including the entire coastline of SC and parts of Virginia and North Carolina.

The National Hurricane Center update on Sunday afternoon had Florence roughly 720 miles southeast of Bermuda, with little chance of being weakened by upper level winds or cooler water.

The US southeast coast is on alert for a potentially deadly strike from Hurricane Florence as forecasters predict it will strengthen to a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall later in the week.

Helene intensified into a hurricane on Sunday with winds of 75 miles per hour.

There were no other coastal watches or warnings in effect.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 15 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles.

Hurricanes Isaac, which could hit Caribbean islands, and Helene, much farther out to sea, lined up behind Florence as the 2018 Atlantic season reached its peak. The storm's winds had increased to 140 miles per hour by Monday afternoon.

"Spaghetti" models for Hurricane Florence as of Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018.

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Millions on US East Coast brace for 'extremely dangerous' Hurricane Florence
That powerful storm was blamed for 21 deaths on the US mainland, five in Puerto Rico and 24 more throughout the Caribbean. Along the Carolina coasts, marina workers are moving boats to higher ground, and are focused on protecting buildings.

Chris Johnson's Forecast | Rounds of showers and storms likely for the weekend
Most high school football games will likely not be affected by rain but we'll see how things evolve during the day. Rain will not be widespread, so it is not expected to be a wash-out.

The hurricane is forecast to travel through Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday.

North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency in preparation for the potential impact of Florence.

The probably path of Hurricane Florence as of September 9, 2018, estimating the landfall of the storm in the Carolinas at Thursday evening or Friday morning. Some inland flooding is anticipated, but due to the recent dry spell, a repeat of 2016's Hurricane Matthew flooding is unlikely, unless the storm stalls over the coast and continues to feed off the warm ocean waters. The state's emergency management agency said it is "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

The storm will bring with it large swells and life-threatening rip currents.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence was forecast to slow down significantly and linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore, dropping heavy rainfall as far as West Virginia.

But most of the many "spaghetti" models for Florence agree that the storm is headed to the East Coast near the Carolinas.

The third hurricane in the Atlantic, Hurricane Florence, could pose a danger to parts of the U.S.

Navy ships off Virginia's coast were preparing to sail out of the path, a North Carolina university has already canceled classes and people have begun stocking up on plywood, bottled water and other supplies.

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

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