11 September, 2018
At 11 a.m. EDT, the hurricane center said Florence's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 75 miles per hour.
"You see the eye of the storm but you also see this darker red color", explained FOX 13's meteorologist Dave Osterberg, pointing to the enhanced satellite image. Steady weakening should begin by Tuesday, the center says.
Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 100 km/h with higher gusts and additional strengthening is forecast during the next couple of days.
The forecast cone has Florence making landfall late Thursday or early Friday.
Helene featured winds near 75 miles per hour was moving west.
The U.S. Navy is also taking precautions, with the U.S. Fleet Forces Command ordering almost 30 ships in the Hampton Roads area of the Virginia coast to head out to sea to avoid the storm.
Once it makes landfall, Florence is predicted to stall and remain over North Carolina for at least 24 hours - increasing the threat of risky flooding, NHC director Ken Graham said on Monday.
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While it is still too early to tell the future of Isaac beyond the Lesser Antilles, models are hinting it will battle wind shear and weaken in the Caribbean Sea.
The NHC also was tracking two other hurricanes farther out in the Atlantic. Cotton, corn and soybean fields, along with massive hog and poultry facilities lie in Florence's forecast path.Smithfield Foods Inc., the No. 1 hog producer, and chicken producer Sanderson Farms Inc. saw North Carolina operations disrupted in 2016 in flooding from Hurricane Matthew.
The storm became a hurricane Sunday morning.
Though the NHC can't pinpoint with certainty the exact location and magnitude of the impacts, they said, "interests at the coast and inland from SC into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials".
Horry and Georgetown counties shifted their operating conditions at noon Monday as Hurricane Florence continued to strengthen and head toward the Carolina coast. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.
The National Hurricane Center warns that Florence could soon cause a coastal surge that includes flooding before the storm is projected for USA landfall (probably) on Thursday. That scenario that would likely mean more impact in the Charlotte area. Further, residents and tourists should expect heavy prolonged rain upon the storm's arrival.
Rapidly intensifying hurricane expected to remain a category 4 storm until landfall along the Carolinas; Adam Klotz reports from the Fox Extreme Weather Center.