Tropical Storm Florence Expected To Turn Into Hurricane

Hurricane Florence tracker and spaghetti models

Hurricane Florence Spaghetti models show possible paths of the hurricane

Tropical Storm Isaac, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 km/hr) on Sunday, was about 1,500 miles east of the Windward Islands, forecasters said.

The storm was still on a path to strike the Carolinas, potentially southern North Carolina, as a major hurricane at about 2 a.m Friday, according to the latest forecast from the hurricane center.

As of noon EDT, Florence was centered about 575 miles (925 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 13 mph (20 kph).

As Hurricane Florence approaches the East Coast, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington encouraged its students to leave campus for a safer location.

Still said it been "quite some time" since a storm of Florence's magnitude had approached Southeastern North Carolina.

These swells, already affecting Bermuda, "are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions", the NHC warned.

As a result of the ominous storm, states across the East Coast are bracing for landfall with officials in the Carolinas and the Virginias making preparations.

Gov. Roy Cooper urged residents to prepare for lengthy power outages after the hurricane arrives and learn evacuation routes they may need to take.

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"During harvest, time is of the essence", Cooper said in his statement declaring the state of emergency.

"Action today can avoid losses due to Florence", he said.

County commissioners, emergency management staff, and other county officials made the announcement this morning.

On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the warm waters of the southwestern Atlantic Ocean through Wednesday. "Due to these conditions, Superintendent David Hallac is strongly urging all beach visitors to stay out of the Atlantic Ocean until unsafe conditions subside". Jeff Masters, co-founder of the Weather Underground service, says airplanes gathering weather information began flying into Florence on Saturday, which should provide data that will lead to a major boost in the reliability of models on Sunday. Forecasters are more confident that Olivia will affect Hawaii, with its path and intensity sharpening in the next few days. The storm is 195 miles west-southwest of Cabo Verde, an archipelago nation near the African coast. Gusty winds and heavy rainfall were expected this weekend for the island nation.

The storm had been downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm last week before it began to strengthen again over the Atlantic late Friday.

The first effects of what forecasters are already calling a large and extremely unsafe hurricane were already being seen on barrier islands Monday as risky rip currents and seawater flowed over the state highway.

Satellite images have shown gradual organization during the past 24 hours and the system should continue to develop through the next several days. It was heading west at nine km/h.

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