Tropical Storm Florence, now spinning some 1,500 miles from North Carolina's Outer Banks, "is forecast to be a risky major hurricane near the southeast US coast by late next week", the National Hurricane Center said Saturday. The NWS reports that it's too early to determine if Florence will directly impact the Carolinas, but it encourages residents to begin taking precautions.
Forecasters urged residents from SC to the mid-Atlantic to get ready - and not just for a possible direct blow against the coast.
A state of emergency was declared in sc and Virginia to give officials and residents enough time to prepare for Florence if it hits the area. At 5 p.m. EDT Sunday, Florence had top sustained winds of 85 mph and was centered about 720 miles southeast of Bermuda while moving westward at 7 mph.
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus warned on Twitter that it could become one of the worst storms in U.S. history.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence had re-strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane Sunday as it was located about 710 miles southeast of Bermuda.
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Cruise ship passengers who planned on a warm-weather vacation but ended up in Atlantic Canada instead say they're disappointed about the last-minute change in plans, but they understand the need to put safety first.
The new update from the National Hurricane Center shows that Tropical Storm Florence, which was once a major Category 4 hurricane, is expected to strengthen back into a Category 4 before reaching the coastal areas of the United States.
Officials along the U.S. East Coast are closely watching the storm.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Friday evening. Both of these are far enough south that they could affect the Caribbean, East Coast, and possibly even the Gulf of Mexico within the next 10-15 days.
However, the NHC says that swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and are beginning to reach portions of the U.S. East Coast.
Two low pressure systems off the coast of Africa behind Florence also had high chances of developing into tropical storms, forecasters said.
Tropical Storm Isaac is churning towards the Windward Islands amid a forecast that it could become a hurricane before the end of the day.