Florence Upgraded To Category 2 Hurricane; Expected To Reach Carolinas This Week

Theresa Obrien
September 12, 2018

The National Hurricane Center's next update on Hurricane Florence is scheduled for 11 p.m. "Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday", the NHC concluded.

By noon on Monday, Florence had top sustained winds of 130mph. The storm was located roughly 1,170 miles east-southeast of the Cape Fear region, and remained a unsafe Category 4 storm.

A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and Florence will be moving over waters where temperatures are peaking near 30C, hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote. A turn toward the northwest is forecast to occur late Wednesday night. Its center will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Florence is expected to strengthen further.

"Interests in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence".

It is expected to strike the Carolinas by Thursday. "Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes", reads the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. "By late October, wind shear once again increases and the cooler autumn air filters farther south, allowing waters to begin their inevitable cooling process".

The U.S. Navy said it was sending almost 30 ships from coastal Virginia out of port to ride out the storm.

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Intensifying Hurricane Florence could strike U.S. Southeast
Over the next 24 to 48 hours, wind shear around Florence will continue to decrease allowing the storm to rapidly intensify. Unsafe swells generated by Florence affected Bermuda and have begun to reach parts of the Eastern Seaboard.

Florence crossed the 74 miles per hour threshold from a tropical storm to a hurricane on Sunday morning and by 11 p.m. that night had sustained a maximum of 90 miles per hour winds. Hurricane watches were in effect on those islands.

"During extreme events, even those areas which normally do not flood are at risk", read a report from the National Weather Service in a Monday morning statement. Which among other things, means people need to start preparing now.

As of early Monday, the storm was getting stronger, with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

National Hurricane Centre director Ken Graham warned that Florence is forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore.

Duke officials are closely monitoring forecasts for Hurricane Florence, which is on its way to becoming one of the strongest storms to hit the Southeast coast, according the Weather Channel. Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has been hit by only one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 130 miles per hour winds, in 1954.

Oosterwyk was gathering tax documents and other important papers from her store on Monday, and said she planned to drive 150 miles (240 km) inland to ride out the storm in the town of Cary. "Florence could dump a foot of rain in places that cannot handle it, making for a very scary flooding situation in some areas". "We just happen to be right in the middle".

The most threatening one is Hurricane Isaac which is expected to make landfall later this week in the Windward Islands - which includes Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, and Grenada - before heading toward the central part of the Caribbean.

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