Published: Wed, September 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Laverne Osborne

TROPICS: Florence to become a hurricane today; TD 9 strengthening

TROPICS: Florence to become a hurricane today; TD 9 strengthening

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said the storm was expected to become a "major hurricane" by Tuesday as it passes between Bermuda and the Bahamas.

The states of North and SC and Virginia - all potentially in Florence's crosshairs - have already issued emergency declarations to help speed preparations.

"While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through landfall", NHC officials said.

Florence is on track to hit the East Coast of the U.S. this week and now has maxim sustained winds of 85 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Center's 5 p.m. Sunday update.

The storm's sustained winds reached 121 km/h, just over the threshold for a hurricane, on Sunday morning as it was moving across the Atlantic, about 1,210 km/h southeast of Bermuda.

Hurricane Florence is still on track to hit the East Coast of the United States this week - and two other big storms are brewing right behind it.

Florence, which was at hurricane strength earlier this week before weakening to a tropical storm, had maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour (105 km/h).

A third storm, Helene, off the Cabo Verde Islands was expected to become a hurricane later on Sunday.

The latest forecast models have increased the likelihood that Florence will pose a serious direct threat to part of the Eastern Seaboard this week as a potentially major hurricane.

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The hurricane center also said that Hurricane Isaac has become the 5th named hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.

Cooper says state emergency management officials are working with local and federal agencies to prepare North Carolina for possible impacts from Florence.

Florence is now about 600 miles south of Bermuda and it's quickly gaining strength as it moves northwest toward the US.

The governor held a press conference Sunday afternoon alongside state emergency response officials to update the state on the potential impacts Hurricane Florence can have on SC.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state was "in the bullseye" of the storm and urged people to "get ready now". NASA's Aqua satellite caught Hurricane Florence developing an eye Sunday as the storm ramped up its intensity.

In Charleston, South Carolina, along the coast, city officials offered sandbags to residents. At minimum, residents along the East Coast are being told to expect heavy rainfall and storm surges, with the possibility of heavy winds. Strengthening into a tropical storm is forecast this weekend and possibly a hurricane early next week as it approaches the Lesser Antilles.

In South Carolina, McMaster ordered the state's entire coastline evacuated starting at noon Tuesday.

This will offer a tracking map, interactive radar, USA radar, advisories, and other helpful tools as we head into the peak of hurricane season.

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