Florence expected to become hurricane, heading to southeast US

Here's what David Epstein is saying about Hurricane Florence

Florence was previously named the first Category 4 hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season last week, but later weakened to a tropical storm, before starting to regain its strength again.

With winds at 75 miles per hour (120 km per hour), Florence became a Category 1 hurricane and was expected to develop into a major storm, defined as Category 3 or higher, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami.

Forecasters at the NHC said Florence would continue to strengthen and "is expected to remain an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday".

Florence will cause life-threatening storm surge at the coast and flooding from rainfall inland, forecasters predict.

The governors of both North and SC have declared states of emergency.

The highest surfs will rise on Palm Beach County waters, the hurricane center said. The storm is about 195 miles west-southwest of Cabo Verge, an archipelago near the African coast.

The Miami-based center defines a major hurricane as one with wind speed greater than 110 miles per hour. It would also mean a "massive rain event" from as far north as Virginia all the way down to SC. The storm is slowly moving northwest into the Gulf of Mexico.

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"This is very scary rain event potentially setting up this week", Rossi said.

Most of the projected paths show Florence making landfall in North Carolina.

USA residents from SC to Virginia were warned that Florence posed an increasing risk of life-threatening coastal storm surge, as well as flooding from heavy rainfall inland. The Weather Channel warned of a "disastrous" level of flooding for parts of the area.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper also urged his state's residents to get ready, noting the storm already was generating swelling waves and risky currents along the coast.

"The estimated minimum central pressure is 969 mb (28.62 inches)", said the NHC in describing the storm. The Carolina coast needs to brace for impact Thursday and Friday. The move will allow the state to use the National Guard for preparations and recovery if necessary.

McMaster was among several governors to declare a state of emergency over the weekend. "Plan for the worst, pray for the best".

"Additional strengthening is expected over the next day or two, " the hurricane center said. By Thursday, our weather will start to be influenced by tropical Storm Florence, interestingly enough.

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