Florence expected to become hurricane, head to southeast US

TROPICS: Florence to become a hurricane today; TD 9 strengthening

This story will be updated throughout the day as the storm develops.

As of 10:30 a.m. Saturday, the storm was 840 miles southeast of Bermuda while heading west at 9 mph with maximum winds of 65 mph.

Not only is Florence projected to become a major hurricane again, she is drawing a bead on the coastline of the Carolinas - with the center of her current forecast track cutting a swath directly through the Palmetto State. Cooler than normal ocean water off of Africa, wind shear in the Tropics and large amounts of Saharan dust all have contributed to what has been a very quiet and below average Atlantic Hurricane season thus far. It was given hurricane status on Tuesday, became a major hurricane on Wednesday and then was almost torn apart in an unfavorable environment Thursday and was once again downgraded to a tropical storm by early Friday.

"Action today can avoid losses due to Florence", he said. Florence will be the stronger of the two, so we'll deal with that first. Storms become a hurricane when they reach 74 miles per hour. The second is that an exceptionally strong ridge of high pressure air is building to the north that could essentially bottle up Florence and keep it rumbling westward. Interests in FL, GA, and NC should remain alert as they are still in the cone of uncertainty, however.

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A state of emergency has been declared in North Carolina as Tropical Storm Florence is expected to gain hurricane strength. Models intensify Helene into a hurricane by Sunday, but look to turn this storm north before it gets close to the United States. Inland effects would be less severe in this scenario, although it among the least likely.

More and more, Florence is looking like a storm that may give the US East Coast problems as a potentially major hurricane this week. It's too soon to determine if Florence will hit land, where it might hit and what the magnitude of the winds might be.

Swells generated by Florence were affecting Bermuda and starting to reach parts of the US East Coast. Although it's never a bad idea to take this approach, it must be understood that every storm and situation is different. And in the western Pacific, tropical depression Mangkhut is approaching Guam and has the potential to strengthen into a typhoon.

A tropical wave is also being monitored by the National Hurricane Center and is located near Bermuda.

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