Florence becomes a hurricane, takes aim at US Southeast

Florence becomes a hurricane, takes aim at US Southeast

Isaac is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles on Thursday as a strong tropical storm or a Category 1 hurricane.

It's expected to become at least a Category 3 hurricane before it hits the mainland USA around SC and North Carolina, likely on Friday morning, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Monday. The Carolina coast needs to brace for impact Thursday and Friday. On North Carolina's Outer Banks, Dare County emergency officials warned that rough seas and strong rip currents are already creating risky conditions.

The Navy said all ships in Virginia's coastal Hampton Roads area were preparing to leave port for open seas Monday.

"Make your plans now", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster urged residents during a Sunday afternoon news conference.

The hurricane center predicted between nine and 13 named storms this season, four to seven of which would be hurricanes.

Unsafe swells generated by Florence affected Bermuda and have begun to reach parts of the Eastern Seaboard.

There have been six tropical storms in the Atlantic basin this year.

Hurricane Florence, which is more than 1,500 miles off the coast, is expected to become a Category 3 on Monday and a Category 4 on Tuesday, according to WBTV meteorologist Al Conklin. Tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 115 miles from the storm's center.

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At 11:00 AM Sunday, the center of Hurricane Florence was located by a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft near latitude 24.4 North, longitude 56.3 West.

Its maximum sustained winds are at 105 miles per hour (165 kmh).

September 10 is the peak of hurricane season.

In the Eastern Atlantic the disturbance east of the Cabo Verde Islands has strengthened into Tropical Storm Helene, the eighth named storm of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season.

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.

Delaware Gov. John Carney says state officials are closely monitoring the approach of Hurricane Florence, which is heading toward the USA for what forecasters said could be a direct hit on the Southeast toward the end of the week.

Isaac strengthened into a hurricane late Sunday night.

The Meteorological Service of Jamaica said at 4:00 am Sunday, Tropical Storm Isaac was centred about 2,475 kilometers east of the Windward Islands.

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