Florence roars back to hurricane status

Pablo Tucker
September 12, 2018

Hurricane Florence has rapidly strengthened to become a major storm, and the hurricane center says more intensification is anticipated.

At this point, its exact landfall location is very hard to determine as Florence will eventually make a NW and then north turn.

Hurricane-force winds could buffet the Carolinas by Wednesday night with landfall likely in SC and North Carolina on Thursday, followed by heavy rains that could cause flooding in much of the U.S. Southeast, the NHC said.

Life-threatening surf and rip current conditions were likely to affect Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast over the weekend.

Tropical Storm Isaac, with maximum sustained winds of 70 miles per hour (110 kph), was expected to grow into a Category 1 hurricane on Sunday night but weaken again as it approached the Eastern Caribbean by mid-week, on a track taking it well south of Puerto Rico, the NHC said.

The other storms — Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Storm Helene — are both expected to become hurricanes Sunday or Monday. It formed near the Cabo Verde Islands last weekend and was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday. The wind field is expected to keep growing, which will increase the storm surge and inland wind threats, the service said in a statement.

"The bottom line is that there is high confidence that Florence will be a large and extremely risky hurricane, regardless of its exact intensity", the hurricane center said. North Carolina Highway Patrol Sgt. Chris Knox told NPR, "This allows our farmers to gather their crops, and get these crops out ahead of the storm".

"We are entering the peak of hurricane season and we know well the unpredictability and power of these storms", Cooper said.

As Florence gathered strength far out in the Atlantic, Wall Street was trying to pick winners and losers from any havoc it might cause.

It's too early to know the exact path, but forecasters said Florence could blow ashore in the Carolinas by Thursday.

That high-pressure ridge is expected to be strong enough and far enough west to push Florence near the Southeast or mid-Atlantic coast mid- to late week. It is about 1,400 miles east of South Florida.

Officials in North Carolina were already bracing for impact.

In addition, in the Pacific, what's now Hurricane Olivia is forecast to approach Hawaii as a tropical storm on Tuesday.

Hurricanes Helene and Isaac are not expected to hit the USA mainland.

The U.S. Navy added that it was sending almost 30 ships from Virginia to sea in order to avoid damage.

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