Hurricane Florence strengthens to Category 4, takes aim at Carolinas

Florence to become hurricane late Saturday

"A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through the end of the week".

Florence, a potentially life-threatening Category 4 hurricane, is on track to make landfall in North Carolina or SC on Thursday (Sept. 13). The storm is expected to turn towards the north on Wednesday. But the season is just now peaking, and Hurricanes Florence, Isaac, and Helene are a stark reminder that we are not out of the woods yet.

NASA astronaut and current International Space Station resident Ricky Arnold was able to capture the sheer breadth of Hurricane Florence, while showcasing Isaac and an outer band of Helene in new photos posted on Twitter Monday. Tropical Storm Isaac was east of the Lesser Antilles and expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land.

The devastation from 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 6 six major hurricanes reached near apocalyptic proportions in some regions, causing an estimated $282billion worth of damage.

The governor of Maryland has declared a state of emergency in preparation for significant flooding from Hurricane Florence.

Florence is predicted to bring "life-threatening impacts" to North Carolina and neighboring states late this week.

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The National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said Florence, whose maximum sustained winds have already reached 105 miles per hour, will become an "extremely unsafe hurricane" when it makes landfall.

NHC forecast the possibility that early on Thursday tropical storm conditions are likely in St. Kitts and Nevis.

Florence is one of three hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, along with Helene and Isaac.

The hurricane is expected to reach the coast of North Carolina Thursday night into Friday morning.

Isaac could be upgraded to a hurricane tonight, but some weakening of the system is expected to take shape by mid-week. "We just happen to be right in the middle".

Closest to home for many Canadians, the active Atlantic has been capturing attention this week, as the destructive Hurricane Florence roars toward the coast of the southern United States.

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"You're going to get heavy rain, catastrophic life-threatening storm surge, and also the winds", Graham said.

A warm ocean gives hurricanes their fuel, and Florence is moving over an area with water temperatures nearing 85 degrees (30 Celsius), hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote.

Tropical-storm-force wind probabilities from Tuesday through Sunday. Little change in strength is forecast during the next few days, but Isaac is forecast to be at or near hurricane strength as it approaches the Lesser Antilles.

Isaac, meanwhile, is a Category 1 hurricane with 75 miles per hour winds and is moving west at 14 miles per hour.

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for...

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