These maps show what to expect from Hurricane Florence

These maps show what to expect from Hurricane Florence

Kenneth Drake
September 11, 2018

Hurricane Florence strengthened to a Category 4 storm Monday afternoon as the monster squall continued its ominous advance towards the East Coast and residents scrambled to hunker down or evacuate.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged his state's residents to get ready, noting the storm was generating swelling waves and risky currents. "We have already began mobilizing our assets to respond accordingly, and we are here for you!"

Where is the hurricane now?

The storm has 115 mph winds and is located 580 miles south-southeast of Bermuda and is moving west at 13 mph.

By 11 a.m. EDT on Monday, Florence became a major hurricane, with top sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (185 kph).

The center of the hurricane is predicted to move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas by Wednesday and could intensify into a Category 4 storm, with winds reaching 130-156 miles per hour, before it makes USA landfall sometime Thursday or early Friday.

The NHC issued a warning Monday morning, explaining when powerful gusts may approach.

A tracker map from the center on Monday forecast the hurricane making landfall in the Carolinas Thursday morning, and expected the storm to continue through Saturday morning, when it will have weakened to a tropical depression.

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What else should I know?

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.

The storm is on track to hit the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic region as early as Thursday, according to the hurricane centre.

Meterologists say Florence could be of "unprecedented strength" by the time it makes landfall on America's east coast.

Dr. Rick Knabb, hurricane expert at The Weather Channel, tells NPR that it's important not to focus exclusively on the coast when it comes to Florence's potential impact.

"Florence is. expected to remain an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday", the hurricane center warned.

Meanwhile, the two other tropical storms in the Atlantic - Florence and Helen - are expected to become hurricanes today. Still, the storm would produce flooding rains across a large part of the U.S. South, expanding the damage, according to Enki Research's Watson. "Some gradual weakening is possible on Tuesday", the advisory says, "but Olivia will likely remain a threat to the Hawaiian Islands next week".

“As a public safety note, the south shore will experience unsettled surf conditions associated with Hurricane Florence, and the public is encouraged to use caution on those beaches.”.