Florence roars back to hurricane status

Florence roars back to hurricane status

The National Hurricane Center classified tropical storm Florence as a Category 1 hurricane, Sunday, warning that it would rapidly intensify into a major hurricane by Monday and could make the Thursday landfall as a Category 4 "extremely risky major hurricane".

In its 11 p.m. EDT advisory, the National Hurricane Center said "a rapid phase of intensification" was expected to begin Sunday.

Forecasters say the hurricane's strength is expected to fluctuate but it still will be a risky storm by the time it reaches the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday.

The storm is expected to continue moving west in the next few days and become a hurricane by Monday.

North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency in preparation for the potential impact of Florence.

The storm was moving west-northwest at around nine miles per hour, and was forecast to drench a large swath of the US East Coast running from northern Florida to New Jersey.

It will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Wednesday and Thursday, before approaching the southeastern USA coast, the NHC said in an advisory.

Hurricane Florence continues to grow in size and strength as it barrels toward the U.S. East Coast. Storm surge and freshwater flooding from rainfall could become life-threatening risks, especially from SC through the mid-Atlantic.

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The Miami-based center said late Sunday that Isaac was about 1305 miles (2100 kilometers) east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kmh).

Last week Florence was a Category 4 hurricane before it weakened to a tropical storm, then regained strength this weekend into a Category 1 hurricane.

Need a better idea of how strong and unsafe Hurricane Florence may become: "Florence's environment has grown much more conducive for intensification, so much so that over the past day, NHC has made their most aggressive rapid intensification forecasts since at least 1998 for an Atlantic storm..." reports Weather Underground.

The National Hurricane Center is now saying that there is an increasing risk of storm surge on the coast, and inland flooding due to heavy rainfall. North Carolina ordered residents to evacuate the state's Outer Banks barrier islands, and the governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC declared states of emergency.

While there's been remarkable agreement with the latest forecast models on Florence's track, the "cone of uncertainty" still stretches as far south as Georgia, and as for north as Virginia. Gov. Ralph Northam ordered a mandatory evacuation to begin at 8 a.m. Tuesday for 245,000 people in parts of the Hampton Roads area and the Eastern shore. That storm was centred 185 km south southeast of the islands.

Florencewill probably create more wind than Hurricane Hugo and more water than Hurricane Matthew, McMaster warned. Some 27 percent of the deaths have come from rain-driven flooding, sometimes hundreds of miles inland. It was picking up speed over the Atlantic's warm waters, causing concerns about landfall and flooding from heavy rains afterward, possibly late Thursday or Friday.

Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 miles per hour.

Hurricane warnings haven't been issued as of yet, but local officials were advising residents to get ready for major Hurricane Florence 2018. Helene is still a Tropical Storm. Florence could grow into a Category 4, with sustained winds of at least 130 miles per hour as it crosses over the warm Atlantic waters. Isaac's forward movement was accelerating on a path to cross into the lower Caribbean on Thursday. Weakening is forecast to begin by the middle of the week as Isaac approaches the Lesser Antilles.

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