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Florence, Helene, and Isaac strengthening over the Atlantic

Florence, Helene, and Isaac strengthening over the Atlantic

Florence strengthened into a hurricane again Sunday as forecasters warned the menacing storm could deliver a brutal hit along the East Coast by the end of the week.

The National Hurricane Center says Florence could make landfall by Friday in the Southeast U.S. and that residents from SC to the mid-Atlantic need to get ready.

The National Hurricane Center said despite Florence eventual path, large swells will begin to affect the U.S. East Coast this weekend, resulting in life-threatening surfs and rip currents.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence's maximum sustained winds early Saturday morning were estimated to be 60 miles per hour (95 kph).

Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and could cause unsafe rip currents and coastal flooding Saturday in areas including coastal DE and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said.

Bermuda and the US East Coast are beginning to see the first impacts of Florence. It's too soon to determine if Florence will hit land, where it might hit and what the magnitude of the winds might be.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said in a statement on Sunday: "Review your emergency plans and gather your supplies now".

A number of storms are in the Atlantic Ocean, some with the possibility of becoming Hurricanes.

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Florence became the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season this past Wednesday, reaching Category 4 status with maximum sustained winds peaking at 130 miles per hour.

A very strong ridge is forecast to build over the northwestern Atlantic during the next few days, which should steer Florence west-northwestward at a much faster forward speed.

Loewenthal said the waters off the North Carolina coast are in the mid-to-upper 80s, which would allow the storm to maintain its strength. But it was expected to move on a mostly westward course during the next 24 hours.

South Carolina's Emergency Management Division said residents should begin preparing their homes and property for the storm.

At 11 p.m. EDT, the hurricane center said Florence's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 110 kph.

A hurricane watch and tropical storm warning are in effect for the Cabo Verde islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava. The storm is 1,540 miles east of the Windward Islands.

The storm could hit the southeastern US coast by late this week as a Category 3 storm or higher, bringing life-threatening winds, flooding, and storm surge. The current projected path could bring this system over the Lesser Antilles during the latter part of next week.

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