Florence expected to become hurricane, heading to southeast US

Florence expected to become hurricane, heading to southeast US

Hurricane Florence picked up power and again became a major hurricane Monday, and forecasters say it's got the mid-Atlantic region of the East Coast in its sights.

As of Sunday night, hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 25 miles from Florence's center, while tropical storm winds extended up to 125 miles.

Hurricane Florence is the first of what looks like could be a trio of storms to hit the U.S. in rapid succession. However, the entire east coast is warned to be on high alert in case the storm's path further shifts, and of course, the impacts will expand far beyond the storm's initial landfall.

Where is the hurricane now?

It was centered about 1,230 miles (1,985 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph (20 kph).

By 11 p.m. Sunday, Florence was moving across the Atlantic Ocean at about 7 miles per hour, and it was almost a Category 2 hurricane, with peak winds of 90 miles per hour.

Around one million people have been ordered to evacuate from the SC coast as the state and neighboring North Carolina brace for a hit from Hurricane Florence, the most powerful storm to take aim at the U.S. mainland this year. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center has projected that Olivia will weaken and likely be a tropical storm by the time it hits the islands late Tuesday through Wednesday.

Trump targets Nike as Kaepernick ads spark boycott calls
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What else should I know?

SC ordered an estimated one million people to evacuate its coast today as the state and neighbouring North Carolina brace for Hurricane Florence. "Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit SC". The state's emergency management agency said it's "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

There are no reported coastal watches or warnings in effect. "These tropical storms and hurricanes are very risky".

The entire population of Hatteras Island, just off hte North Carolina coast, were ordered to evacuate by noon EST Monday, with other swathes of the state ordered to comply with the same order by 7am Tuesday.

Forecasters said early Monday afternoon that data indicated Florence has maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour and a minimum central pressure of 946 millibars (27.93 inches). And with little wind shear to pull the storm apart, Florence's hurricane wind field was expected to expand over the coming days, increasing its storm surge and inland wind threats, and raising the likelihood of life-threatening freshwater flooding.

Some forecasts call for Florence to stall out after it strikes the coast. "The last Atlantic hurricane to intensify as rapidly as far north as Florence's current location is Hurricane Humberto (2007)".

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