After meandering in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean as a tropical storm for the last four days, Hurricane Florence is back with a vengeance.
The only question now is where along the east coast of the United States her vengeance will be felt?
As for the 5:00 a.m. AST advisory on Monday morning, Florence was located 625 miles southeast of Bermuda moving west-northwest at around nine miles per hour. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 104 miles per house – making her a category two hurricane.
Additional rapid strengthening is forecast over the next 24-36 hours, with Florence likely to become a category four and possibly even a category five system on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale.
“An increase in forward speed is expected during the next couple of days,” the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida warned. “A turn toward the northwest is forecast to occur Wednesday night or Thursday. 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 southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday.”
Here is the NHC’s latest (increasingly narrowing) forecast bubble …
(Click to view)
And courtesy of BoatUS.com, one of our favorite storm-tracking websites, here is its latest projected forecast track …
(Click to view)
Officials with the S.C. Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) moved the Palmetto State to operating condition three – or OPCON 3 – meaning they were “preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster.”
“Now is the time for your family also to prepare and stay tuned for more updates,” S.C. governor Henry McMaster said. “Plan for the worst, pray for the best.”
McMaster declared a state of emergency in anticipation of the storm’s arrival on Saturday. As a result, assets from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were already arriving in the Palmetto State to “help coordinate federal resources should they be needed.”
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