Hurricane Florence strengthened to a Category 3 storm on Sept. 10, according to the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) update at 11 a.m.
The storm has 115 mph winds and is located 580 miles south-southeast of Bermuda and is moving west at 13 mph. It is also located 1,240 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, according to the NHC.
“Interests in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence. Storm Surge and Hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday (Sept. 11) morning,” said the NHC in the update.
The NHC added that Florence, which reached major hurricane status several days ago but weakened into a tropical storm, now has an eye. The storm is forecast to strengthen even more.
“Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday (Sept. 13),” said officials.
Forecasters say that the storm will take a west-northwestward motion and will increase its movement over the next several days. A turn toward the northwest is forecast to occur on the night of Sept. 12, the NHC said.
“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 South Carolina or North Carolina on Thursday,” said the NHC.
There no coastal warnings or watches yet. Watches are usually put in place 48 hours before landfall and warnings come after that.
The governors of North and South Carolina, as well as Virginia, have declared states of emergency ahead of landfall.
According to the North Carolina Emergency Management agency on Sept. 9, there is now an “increasing risk of life-threatening impacts: storm surge at coast, flooding inland … Dangerous winds could down trees & cause power outages … Landfall may be Thurs. If slows after landfall may cause heavier rain & winds.”
There are no coastal warnings in effect for the United States, but swells from Florence are already affecting portions of the U.S. East Coast and Bermuda. “These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” officials said.
Accuweather’s Alex Sosnowski noted that the storm will also affect the mid-Atlantic region.
“As we have seen with hurricanes in most recent years, such as Lane in Hawaii earlier this summer and Harvey last year in Texas, feet of rain can fall when these tropical storms stall,” Sosnowski said.
“That scenario has a high probability of occurring in North Carolina and Virginia and possibly portions of neighboring states in the Southeast, Appalachians and mid-Atlantic late this week and this coming weekend,” Sosnowski added.
He noted: “As a result, people from southeastern Virginia to southern New Jersey could have damaging winds and significant coastal flooding, even if Florence hovers or moves ashore in North Carolina.”
From The Epoch Times