Hurricane Florence looks absolutely wild from the International Space Station

Carlton Robbins
September 12, 2018

Steve Pfaff, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Wilmington office, warned impacts could include storm surge and wind damage, although the storm's path remains uncertain at this time.

By 11am Eastern time (11pm HKT) on Monday, Florence was about 1,240 miles (2,000 kilometres) east-southwest of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and was a Category 4, the second-strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the NHC said.

Feasting off the energy from unusually strong sea surface temperatures, Hurricane Florence is intensifying quickly and tracking inexorably toward landfall along the U.S. Southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast on Thursday. Although Olivia is expected to move over the islands as a tropical storm, it could still bring worse impacts than recent Hurricane Lane to some areas, the center said.

Where is the hurricane now?

The rapidly growing hurricane-currently circling Bermuda-is expected to make contact with the East Coast early Thursday morning, predicted Wes Hohenstein, chief meteorologist at CBS 17.

Arnold also captured hurricanes Isaac and Helene lining up behind Florence in the Atlantic.

A hurricane bringing 90 miles per hour winds and the risk of devastating storms and floods is hurtling toward the U.S., prompting a large portion of the East Coast to declare a formal state of emergency. And with little wind shear to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane wind field was expected to expand over the coming days, increasing its storm surge and inland wind threats, and raising the likelihood of life-threatening freshwater flooding.

What else should I know?

As the danger became clear over the weekend, the governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia all declared states of emergency.

"The evacuation order will be inconvenient, but we do not want to sacrifice one SC life, we are not going to gamble the lives of SC people", McMaster said.

"This storm is going to be a direct hit on our coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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CATEGORY 4: Hurricane Florence Rapidly Intensifies Into Major Hurricane
Handout via Getty Images Hurricane Florence is seen traveling west over the Atlantic Ocean on September 10, 2018 . The US Navy said it was sending almost 30 ships from coastal Virginia out of port to ride out the storm.

'Extremely Dangerous' Florence On Track to Hit East Coast As Major Hurricane
Florence was in the Atlantic about 1,500 miles from the coast and 750 miles from Bermuda, moving west at 6 mph, the center said . The Category 1 hurricane remained 580 miles northeast of the northern Leeward Islands, which include Puerto Rico and the U.S.

As of 5 a.m. EDT, Florence was centered about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 9 mph (15 kph).

"Once Florence moves inland, it's going to dump tremendous amounts of rain on the Carolinas and Virginia", Eck said.

Forecasters also warned that it could unload one or two feet of rain in some places, causing devastating inland flooding, the Associated Press reported.

The first mandatory evacuation order was issued at noon, and Cooper expects more later Monday and Tuesday.

As of 12:00 p.m. on Monday, Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter indicate that Florence has continued to rapidly strengthen and has maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour (195 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 946 mb making the powerful storm a Category 4. Re-strengthening is forecasted to happen within the next day or so, the NHC said. "I'd say get ready".

North Carolina's governor urged people to learn what evacuation routes to take and put fuel in their vehicles in case they're ordered to leave.

Two other hurricanes are now churning in the Atlantic Ocean.

Navy ships off Virginia's coast were preparing to sail out of the path, a North Carolina university has already canceled classes and people have begun stocking up on plywood, bottled water and other supplies.

NOAAAn NOAA map shows the probability of tropical-storm-force winds hitting the US East Coast between Sunday and Friday.

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