Strengthening Hurricane Florence blasts toward U.S. East Coast

Strengthening Hurricane Florence blasts toward U.S. East Coast

Tropical Storm Florence turned into a hurricane Sunday morning and swirled toward the US for what forecasters said could be a direct hit on the Southeast toward the end of the week.

Anticipating Florence could directly hit the U.S. Southeast late this week, forecasters urged residents from SC to the mid-Atlantic to get ready - and not just for a direct blow against the coast.

As of 11 a.m. Sunday, the storm was moving westward at 6 miles per hour.

Hurricane Florence on Sunday had winds moving at 75 mph, and was 750 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 6 mph. The cold front will continue to slowly move across the state on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In the next two to three days, global models are showing northwesterly shear steadily increasing and potentially reaching a maximum of around 34.5 miles per hour by Thursday.

The Met Service said neither of the storms are not a threat to Jamaica at this time. The newsletter went out prior to the storm shifting slightly to the north Sunday morning. September is the peak month for tropical weather - and Sept. 10 is the statistical peak day, said Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist and spokesman for the National Hurricane Center.

The National Hurricane Center, along with local branches of the National Weather Service and North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper are warning that the biggest dangers from Florence facing the Carolinas now are unsafe ocean conditions and storm surge flooding on the coast and freshwater flooding from "prolonged, heavy rain inland", according to the NHC.

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Residents as far north as Virginia were warned that Florence posed an increasing risk of life-threatening coastal storm surge, as well as flooding from heavy rainfall inland should the slow-moving storm system stall over the Southeast.

"This storm is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said in issuing his state's emergency declaration.

A third weather disturbance, Tropical Storm Isaac, was also expected to intensify into a hurricane by Monday.

Officials in North Carolina were already bracing for impact.

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND -------- SURF: Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and are beginning to reach portions of the U.S. East Coast.

Forecasters say Tropical Storm Florence has turned into a hurricane and is swirling toward the East Coast for what could be a direct hit toward the end of the week. The storm is expected to continue on its westward path.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds have increase to near 140 km/h with higher gusts.

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