As mandatory evacuations begin for parts of three East Coast states, millions of Americans have been preparing for what could become one of the most catastrophic hurricanes to hit the Eastern Seaboard in decades.
The Center also warned that "Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday". Among the airports commonly mentioned are those in North and SC, as well as Norfolk and Richmond, VA and Savannah, GA. By Monday morning, the hurricane center classified Florence as a "major" Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour.
As of Tuesday morning, hurricane force winds were extending up to 40 miles from the storm's center and "tropical storm force winds" were showing up as far away as 150 miles, said the National Weather Service.
Gov. Rick Scott released a statement on Monday urging Floridians to be prepared for the unexpected and remain on alert about Hurricane Florence. As you can see, the earliest time that tropical storm winds are now expected in the Carolinas, according to the National Hurricane Center, is Wednesday night.
A hurricane watch has been issued for the East Coast from Edisto Beach, S.C., to the North Carolina-Virginia border, including the Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.
Hurricane Florence is expected to be a Category 4 storm when it arrives at the coast of North Carolina late this week. The hurricane center noted that, when it comes to predicting the path of a hurricane four and five days in the future, it can be off by an average of about 140 and 180 nautical miles.
McMaster ordered the evacuation of coastal areas to start at noon on Tuesday as Hurricane Florence approaches.
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Two other storms were spinning in the Atlantic as the 2018 hurricane season reaches its peak.
The clip was taken early Monday morning and hours before the storm was upgraded in strength.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released a "mesmerising loop" showing Hurricane Florence from space.
By way of comparison, the maximum intensity of Hurricane Maria, the storm system which path of destruction left nearly 3,000 people dead in Puerto Rico, was 277.8 km/h, (150 knots), the NHC said.
"Don't concentrate on the exact forecast track of Hurricane Florence". Tens of thousands of people are also expected to seek higher ground along coastal areas of North Carolina. Freshwater flooding is extremely likely once the storm makes landfall, possibly as far inland as West Virginia.
With current forecasts showing that Hurricane Florence will make landfall in North Carolina this week, the state got some important news.
"The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline".