Tropical Storm Florence continued to get stronger as it moved toward the U.S. southeast early Sunday, Sept. 9, with forecasters predicting it will become “a dangerous major hurricane” by Monday.
The NOAA NWS National Hurricane Center said in a statement on Sunday morning that forecasters were expecting a “rapid intensification in about 12 to 24 hours.”
“Florence is expected to reach major hurricane intensity between 36 and 48 hours, with additional strengthening after that. Florence is forecast to be an intense hurricane on days 3 through 5 as it moves across the warm waters of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean, between the Bahamas and Bermuda, and then as it heads toward the southeast U.S.A. coast,” the statement reads.
In an earlier advisory on Saturday, forecasters said Florence posed an increasing “risk of direct impacts” by next weekend, but that it was “too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of those impacts.”
No coastal weather warnings were in effect, according to Tropical Storm Florence Forecast Advisory 40, published at 05.00 a.m. AST on Sunday, Sept. 9, but the forecaster noted that Florence was “expected to become a hurricane today.”
‘Brace for Impact’ Officials Warn
Officials in the Carolinas warned residents to prepare and to brace for impact.
Governors in both South Carolina and Virginia declared a state of emergency Saturday to give their states time to prepare for the possible arrival of the storm. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster emphasized that there’s no way to know yet when and where the storm will hit land, or when evacuations might be called.
On Friday, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency and urged residents to use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster.
“We are entering the peak of hurricane season and we know well the unpredictability and power of these storms,” Cooper said.
The U.S. Navy is making preparations this weekend for its ships in the Hampton Roads area to leave port. The U.S. Fleet Forces Command said in a news release Saturday that the ships will get ready in anticipation of getting under way Monday to avoid storm damage.
Other Storms Brewing
Tropical Storm Helene is starting to organize off the coast of Africa, the NHC reported, and could be heading our way soon.
A Sunday morning advisory noted that the “outer bands of Helene [were] beginning to affect the southernmost Cabo Verde islands.”
A bulletin was also published for Tropical Storm Isaac, which forecasters said was “expected to strengthen during the next few days.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times