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

Monday marks the average peak of the hurricane season in the Atlantic. With little wind shear to pull the storm apart, hurricane-strength winds have been expanding to 40 miles (64 kilometers) from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds 150 miles from the center. "Even a small northward shift in the track of the storm could bring devastating impacts to our area".

By 11pm Monday (Tues afternoon NZT), Florence was centered about 1,745 kilometres east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 20 km/h.

The majority of current computer models, (sometimes called spaghetti models because the tracks look like spaghetti), have the storm making a beeline for the Carolina Coast.

"North Carolina faces three threats here". Storms generally form over the equator, where the water temperature is especially high, then move north and west, pushed along by currents in the tropical Atlantic.

"Red, no-swimming flags are flying, and everyone must stay out of the water", Dare County Emergency Management Director Drew Pearson said. "Everyone should start preparing now".

But Florence stands out from the other hurricanes. Helene is moving in a west-northwest direction at 16 miles per hour, as of 11 a.m. EDT Monday.

Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Thursday morning, with tropical storm conditions possible early Thursday in both the hurricane and tropical storm watch areas.

In North Carolina, more than 250,00 people are set to be evacuated today from the northern Outer Banks.

Florence is expected to strengthen in the next few hours, which could see it becoming a Category 5 hurricane if wind speeds reach 157mph.

"We are preparing for the worst, and of course hoping for the best", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said, as reported by CNN.

The Ministry said the Emergency Broadcast station on 100.1fm is in operation, and official information will continue to be released by the Bermuda Weather Service, the Emergency Measures Organisation, the Ministry of National Security and the Department of Communications.

Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday night.

"Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of SC and North Carolina, and a Hurricane Watch will likely be issued by Tuesday morning". Governor Ralph Northam issued a mandatory evacuation order for 245,000 Virginians in low-lying, coastal areas.

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