Florence projected to strengthen to major hurricane

Florence projected to strengthen to major hurricane”

Florence, the first major storm of the Atlantic season, has weakened to a tropical storm as it heads for Bermuda, but forecasters say it will regain strength early next week.

Florence is now 1,600 miles from the East Coast and moving toward Bermuda, the National Hurricane Center said. These swells will likely increase during next week and result in rough surf and unsafe rip current activity.

Wind shear will lessen over the weekend, and Florence should regain major hurricane intensity (Category 3 or greater) by early next week - as the storm moves northwest, getting closer to the United States coastline by the day. The storm was centered about 935 miles (1,505 kilometers) east-southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 8 mph (13 kph).

Florence was downgraded late Thursday night into a tropical storm but all indications are saying that the storm has stopped weakening.

Although the storm was forecast to weaken Friday and Saturday, Florence could reintensify over the weekend.

Gov. Roy Cooper has issued a State of Emergency as Tropical Storm Florence is forecast to approach the east coast. Sustained winds had slowed to 65 miles per hour.

As of Friday afternoon, Florence continued to slowly cross the Atlantic Ocean now moving more westerly compared to northwesterly.

Problem: Florence's long-term track remains highly uncertain.

"Florence may begin to move faster toward the west-northwest over the western Atlantic early next week", the National Hurricane Center advised. The National Hurricane Center also recommends to go over their hurricane plans should they need to use them next week.

The centre is keeping an eye on the system, along with two other disturbances developing off the coast of Africa.

Johnathan Lamb, National Weather Service meteorologist, said Florence is more than seven days away from making an impact on land - if it even does.

Long-range computer models project the storm to be near the East Coast by Thursday. Formation chance in 48 hours was at 10 percent, and formation chance over the next five days was 50 percent.

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