Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4 storm, threatens Southeast U.S.

Two tropical depressions in Atlantic Article by Barbados Today Published on September 8, 2018

Florence rapidly intensified into a fearsome category 3 hurricane on Monday and could strike a direct and unsafe blow to the Carolinas later this week, possibly as a category 4, forecasters said.

By 11 a.m. ET (1500 GMT) on Monday, Florence was about 1,240 miles (2,000 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and was a Category 4, the second-strongest on the Saffir-Simpson scale, the NHC said.

The storm was expected to make landfall in North Carolina some time Thursday or Friday, though winds frome the hurricane could be felt as early as Wednesday evening, according to NHC. Large swells generated by Olivia will also likely increase throughout the week and may become damaging on some exposed east-facing shores Tuesday or Wednesday.

A surge in the waters off the New England coast is expected to begin as soon as tomorrow, and could lead to some especially high tides and unsafe rip currents, Simpson says, but that's about it.

"Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday (Sept. 13)", said officials.

"The track that Florence is taking is very atypical", Klotzbach said in an email. Most of the state of Hawaii was under either a tropical storm warning or watch on Monday morning, as Hurricane Olivia bears westward, with 85 miles per hour winds.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster also suspended his campaign and asked President Donald Trump for a federal emergency declaration.

Hurricane Florence intensified Monday, becoming a Category 4 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Most of the projected paths show Florence making landfall in North Carolina.

While the cone of uncertainty still covers most of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, prediction models of the storm indicate it's headed toward some area between Charleston, S.C. and North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Winds could reach upwards of 150 miles per hour with catastrophic flooding.

"We are in the bull's eye", North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a news conference.

"That scenario has a high probability of occurring in North Carolina and Virginia and possibly portions of neighboring states in the Southeast, Appalachians and mid-Atlantic late this week and this coming weekend", Sosnowski added.

It's far too early to speculate about potential industry losses for the insurance, reinsurance and ILS sector at this time, but by late Sunday or Monday a clearer picture of the eventual track hurricane Florence will take should have emerged.

Isaac, a weakening Category 1 hurricane, is much farther south, and is facing the same winds that threatened to rip Hurricane Florence apart.

None of the three hurricanes presents an immediate threat to South Florida.

A "major" hurricane is one with sustained winds of more than 110 miles per hour.

Rapidly intensifying Hurricane Florence could strike a direct and unsafe blow anywhere from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic region later this week.

"This is a very risky hurricane", Governor Henry McMaster has said.

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