Major Hurricane Florence Barreling Towards The Carolinas Amidst A Busy Tropical Atlantic

Pablo Tucker
September 12, 2018

A hurricane hunter plane found Florence strengthening quickly, reaching top winds of 105 miles per hour Monday morning after crossing the 74 miles per hour threshold from tropical storm to a hurricane on the day.

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence is rapidly strengthening and that swells generated by the storm are affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said his state was "in the bullseye" of the storm and urged people to "get ready now".

Storm Surge and hurricane watches are likely be issued for the Carolina coast - including Southeastern N.C. - on Tuesday.

East Coast Braces For Possible Category 4 Hurricane Florence, Tropical Storm Isaac Develops In Atlantic |

"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall inland and damaging hurricane-force winds", a 5 a.m. advisory said.

A "major" hurricane is one with sustained winds of more than 110 miles per hour.

Meanwhile Helene, which is now 600 km (375 miles) away from the Cabo Verde Islands, is forecast to diverge north-west away from land by Thursday.

Many newcomers have moved to the coast in the almost 19 years since the last strong hurricane - Floyd - threatened the area. If this occurs, flooding inland and along the coast could be very significant with the potential of over a foot of rain over parts of the Mid-Atlantic U.S. This storm is NOT a threat to the Big Bend and South Georgia. The storm's winds had increased to 140 miles per hour by Monday afternoon.

Helene: The 5:00am advisory on Hurricane Helene has the storm with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour.

Researchers have noticed correlations between inactive hurricane season years that the strength of tropical cyclones close to the mid-Atlantic being stronger just the way Hurricane Florence is behaving. Tuesday morning's data from hurricane-hunting aircraft supports this forecast, the center said.

It is only the 11th time on record that three hurricanes have been active in the Atlantic at the same time. A turn toward the northwest and then north-northwest is forecast on Wednesday and Thursday.

Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area by Thursday morning, with tropical storm conditions possible early Thursday in both the hurricane and tropical storm watch areas.

Hurricanes need warm ocean water to form, so hurricane season comes when the Atlantic Ocean is at its warmest.

For many, the challenge could be finding a safe refuge: If Florence slows to a crawl just off the coast, it could carry torrential rains up into the Appalachian mountains, causing flash floods, mudslides and other risky weather across a wide area. The Category 4 storm destroyed 15,000 buildings and killed 19 people in North Carolina.

Other reports by iNewsToday