Florence is now a hurricane, heading to southeast US

Florence is now a hurricane, heading to southeast US

At least 67 named storms have passed within 200 nautical miles of where Florence has been travelling since 1851.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday morning that it expects Helene to produce tropical storm conditions for parts of the Cabo Verde Islands on Sunday.

Florence is already making an impact on the Carolina coast.

If Florence makes landfall near Charleston-Myrtle Beach-Wilmington, this would more than likely mean a very high flood threat for us Friday and Saturday.

The storm could hit the southeastern US coast by late this week as a Category 3 storm or higher, bringing life-threatening winds, flooding, and storm surge.

The Miami-based weather center says Florence's maximum sustained winds are estimated to be 70 miles per hour (110 kph).

Tropical Storm Helene formed late Friday night off the coast of Africa, one of three storms - two named - now in the Atlantic.

The hurricane will pass through Bermuda before hitting the East Coast. It is pretty far south and with high pressure ridging in place over the Atlantic and Florida, should in the short and medium term be a Caribbean system.

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Meanwhile residents along the U.S. east coast are being warned to prepare for the possible arrival of Florence next week, with modelling showing the weakened storm could regain it's strength to a hurricane as it approaches Bermuda.

The storm will bring with it large swells and life-threatening rip currents. It is too soon to say where, when or how severe the rainfall might be.

"It looks like now that (computer model) consensus really kind of puts it between Georgia and North Carolina", though other states along the coast should watch as well, CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said Saturday afternoon. Their governors declared states of emergency Friday and Saturday.

Florence remains a tropical storm but is forecast to become a hurricane Saturday night as it continues on a westerly track toward the East Coast of the United States, the NWS reports.

"We are mobilizing the state's resources to make sure we are prepared, and the people of SC must not hesitate to prepare for the possibility of a hurricane impacting our coast".

US Navy ships are also evacuating their ships in the Hampton Roads area to leave the port. "Action today can avoid losses due to Florence". It is given a 90 percent chance of development in the next 48 hours. "Our ships can better weather storms of this magnitude when they are underway", said U.S. Fleet Forces Commander Adm. Christopher Grady, according to Military.com.

As the storm moves away from the Cabo Verde Islands later Sunday, it was expected to have the opportunity to become a hurricane.

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