Now is the time to prepare for Hurricane Florence

Florence is now a hurricane, McMaster advises prep for

"This morning, I received a full briefing from the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Florence". Steady weakening is forecasted to begin by late Tuesday. Emergency officials say they're keeping a close eye on the forecast and where to move resources to respond to the storm.

- Tropical Storm Florence could affect North Carolina by mid-week if it continues its current path, according to WRAL meteorologist Mike Moss.

Forecasters say Florence will pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and start its approach to the US on Thursday morning.

"On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday", said the NHC.

Florence is expected to strengthen further. Tropical storms generate winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour, just below hurricane force.

A rip current statement is in effect for all beaches in Brunswick, New Hanover and Pender counties. Ilija Cesal told the newspaper he wouldn't worry about buying extra water or other supplies for a few more days.

Basically, Hurricane Florence is coming in hot. A "Hurricane Hunter" aircraft recorded maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour. Olivia should weaken through Tuesday but remain a strong tropical storm when it reaches the Hawaiian Islands. It was moving west at about 13 miles per hour.

As of 12:00 p.m. on Monday, Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter indicate that Florence has continued to rapidly strengthen and has maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour (195 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 946 mb making the powerful storm a Category 4. Helene is expected to go out to sea after passing the Cabo Verde Islands, but Isaac could be on a path to the Caribbean, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria almost a year ago.

"We here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit", Cooper said Monday.

A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and Florence will be moving over waters where temperatures are peaking near 85 degrees (30 Celsius), Blake wrote. "Everyone should start preparing now". Are you preparing your home or getting ready to evacuate?

The European model paints the most aggressive forecast for central Georgia and shows wind gusts between 30 and 40 miles per hour for Sunday as the remnants of Florence drift to the south over SC.

Several meteorologists said Florence could do what Hurricane Harvey did previous year over Texas, dumping days of rain, although not quite as bad. The famed vacation destination of Hilton Head, South Carolina is also in the storm's likely path.

As of 12 p.m. on Monday, Florence is now a Category 4 hurricane.

"The chances of it going out to sea are extremely slim at this point", she said. "We just happen to be right in the middle".

Astronaut Ricky Arnold captured this image of Hurricane Florence from the International Space Station on Monday, September 10, 2018.

Heavy rain in the Washington area over the weekend has already led to flooding in historic Alexandria, Virginia, local media reported, and the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for part of the Potomac River. Landfall somewhere along the Carolinas has now become more likely, where the threat for life-threating storm surge and inland flooding has increased.

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