Published: Mon, September 10, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Florence becomes a hurricane, takes aim at US Southeast

Florence becomes a hurricane, takes aim at US Southeast

Forecasters were also tracking two more storms further out in the Atlantic, with Tropical Storm Isaac expected to become a hurricane later on Sunday as it barreled toward the Caribbean.

"We are now in the peak of hurricane season - disaster preparedness should be a major priority for your family", Florida Governor Rick Scott wrote on Twitter. The storm was centered about 835 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 7 mph.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement Sunday that coastal and inland residents alike need to get ready for potentially heavy rainfall and flooding from the storm.

A slew of unsafe storms - hurricanes, tropical storms and a typhoon - are now traveling over both the Atlantic and Pacific.

While the track of Tropical Storm Florence is still uncertain, it appears increasingly likely that Virginia may see significant impacts from this storm next week.

It would be the first Category 4 hurricane to do so since Hugo in 1989.

Hawaii has also been put on notice as Hurricane Olivia approaches from the east. It later weakened to a tropical storm after encountering strong wind shear and cooler waters.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence's maximum sustained winds on Friday night were estimated to be 60mph.

Swells generated by Florence already were impacting Bermuda and starting to reach the United States coast, with life-threatening surf and rip current conditions likely, according to the NHC. "These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions". It did not immediately pose a threat to land. NHC added that the risk of direct impact from the storm along the U.S. East Coast over the next week has increased, but it is too soon to determine location, magnitude and timing of the impact.

Officials in North Carolina are already bracing for impact.

But most of the many "spaghetti" models for Florence agree that the storm is headed to the East Coast near the Carolinas.

Due to warm ocean temperatures and lack of shear, Florence will be in a very favorable environment for development.

As of Saturday evening, however, a track that keeps the storm offshore is still in the cards.

"With this order government agencies will begin to mobilize in anticipation of a hurricane", McMaster said.

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