Florence may hit southeast U.S. as powerful hurricane


The storm is moving west at 6 miles per hour.

A U.S. landfall is not guaranteed, but it is looking more likely toward the end of next week.

Tropical storm force winds could begin along the coast Wednesday evening and have the potential to impact the Triangle.

Over the last 36 hours, Florence weakened from a hurricane to a tropical storm as the system encountered hostile conditions in the central Atlantic Ocean. At this point, its exact landfall location is very hard to determine as Florence will eventually make a NW and then north turn. It will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the southeastern United States coast on Thursday, the NHC said in an advisory.

"Action today can avoid losses due to Florence", he said.

Hurricane expert Robbie Berg said: "The risk of other direct impacts associated with Florence along the US East Coast next week has increased". The second is that an exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure air is building to the north that could essentially bottle up Florence and keep it rumbling westward.

Florence, which is located 810 miles west of Bermuda, is moving at 5-mph west.

However, given the uncertainty in track and intensity forecasts at those time ranges, it's too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of those impacts.

Ahead of Florence, a separate small tropical system was raining on Bermuda.

SC officials began preparing Saturday for the possible arrival next week of a powerful Hurricane Florence, with authorities saying the storm could affect a large portion of the state.

The storm is expected to bring high winds and storm surge, which will likely cause coastal flooding. It was more than 1,700 miles from the eastern-most Caribbean islands early Saturday. This is the feature that is now expected to steer Florence towards the coast.

The NWS advises people to review their hurricane plans and monitor the storm closely. It will likely strengthen to a hurricane and could affect the Lesser Antilles late next week.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Olivia now has winds of 80 mph, and is approximately 825 miles east-northeast of Hilo, Hawaii. On the current track, Olivia may be near the Hawaiian Islands by late Tuesday. Florence, because of its weaker state, has been moving along toward the west.