Hurricane Florence weakens slightly as far away systems continue to build

Hurricane Florence weakens slightly as far away systems continue to build

In the Atlantic, Florence encountered wind shear (strong winds aloft), which caused it to weaken to a minimal Category 1 hurricane this evening.

"While significant uncertainty remains in the eventual track of Hurricane Florence, we know that the swell from the storm will begin to impact area beaches this weekend", according to NWS.

The tropics remain active with Hurricane Florence in the open waters of the Atlantic, Tropical Depression Gordon producing torrential rain and flooding in the mid-Mississippi Valley - plus other potential development near Africa in the coming days.

The storm, swirling away in the mid-Atlantic, was moving slowly northwest at about 10 miles per hour, according to the NHC. The storm's minimum central continues to drop, now at 946 millibars.

The next names in the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season list are Helene and Isaac.

Of interest to forecasters is which direction Florence will go over the next several days.

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Behind it, another wave is expected to move off the coast on Friday and could become a depression over the weekend or early next week. The Hurricane Center is forecasting a turn toward the west-northwest with a further decrease in forward speed expected later Thursday, followed by a turn toward the west by the weekend.

It's far too soon to tell how Hurricane Florence may affect the Carolinas.

Earlier this summer, Hurricane Chris surged in the mid-Atlantic, and while it did not take a swipe at the Carolinas, it did cause life threatening rip currents and rough surf, even as a tropical storm, the NHC said.

Behind Florence are two tropical waves that are given a high chance to become tropical depressions within 2 to 5 days. "A westward to west-northwestward motion should continue into early next week".

Just west of the Cape Verde islands, a long swath of low pressure lacked a defined eye but is expected to move west into more favorable conditions across the tropical Atlantic in the next few days and become better organized.

The tropical wave is now given a 10 percent to develop over the next 48 hours and 50 percent over the next five days.

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