Published: Tue, September 11, 2018
Science | By

Florence to become major hurricane by Monday

Florence to become major hurricane by Monday

Sunday, Sept. 9, 5:49 pm: Hurricane Florence continues to intensify rapidly as it moves ever closer to the U.S. Atlantic coast, where it could strike somewhere between SC and Virginia late this week.

Met Service said neither of the storms are a threat to Jamaica. The storm now has maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and gusts as high as 90 miles per hour.

The confidence in a North Carolina landfall Thursday night is growing, but there's still room for improvement regarding model disagreement. "Accordingly, I am declaring a state of emergency so that we can begin to prepare state assets, and I encourage Virginians to monitor forecasts and make their own preparations now". By 11 a.m. Monday, Florence became a major hurricane, with top sustained winds of 115 miles per hour.

Hurricane Florence rapidly regained strength Sunday after briefly weakening to a tropical storm, and is possibly on a collision course with the Wilmington-Cape Fear area as a Category 3 storm or stronger.

Exactly where Florence will track is largely depended on an area of high pressure that is expected to expand north of the system.

A hurricane hunter plane found Florence strengthening quickly after it became a hurricane Sunday.

Florence is expected to travel between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before approaching the southeastern US coast on Thursday.

A tropical storm watch was issued in the latest update across much of Hawaii, including Oahu, Maui, Hawaii counties. 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.

In Virginia, mandatory evacuations begin 8 a.m. Tuesday for about 245,000 residents in a portion of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore area, Gov. Ralph Northam said Monday.

The U.S. Navy is sending almost 30 of its Virginia-based ships out to sea as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the Atlantic Coast. "These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions".


Located 765 miles southeast of Bermuda, Florence is moving west at around six miles per hour.

Forecasters urged residents from SC to the mid-Atlantic to get ready - and not just for a possible direct blow against the coast.

The region is also a big supplier of the nation's cotton, with North Carolina ranking ninth among states for the current 2018-19 crop year, SC 11 and Virginia 16. But the Gulf Stream is pushing warm water past Cape Hatteras, which could create a "nightmare scenario" that could lead to as much as $25 billion in damages, putting Florence in the top 10 of the most destructive storms, he said.

The university said Sunday that it has issued a voluntary evacuation for students starting at noon on Monday.

"Florence is expected to be an extremely risky major hurricane through Thursday", the NHC said in its latest bulletin. Two other storms also are churning in the Atlantic. Since the wind flows clockwise around high pressures, the flow around this high pressure is what's expected to steer Florence toward the East Coast.

As of early Sunday, though, Florence was still a tropical storm packing maximum sustained winds of around 70 miles per hour - with storm-force winds extending outward up to 125 miles from her core.

Florence is a major threat to lives, homes, agriculture and the waning tourist season.

Isaac was about 1305 miles (2100 kilometers) east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kmh) late Sunday.

President Trump, who received sharp criticism a year ago for his handling of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, took to Twitter Monday to urge East Coast residents to seek safety. Any Category 3, 4 or 5 hurricane is classified as a major hurricane.

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