Florence could cause unsafe surf along USA coast

Terence Little
September 8, 2018

Hurricane Florence, the first major storm of the Atlantic season, dropped to a Category 2 storm on Thursday and further weakening is expected later in the day as it continues to head towards Bermuda, forecasters said. Formation chance in 48 hours was at 10 percent, and formation chance over the next five days was 50 percent. But that may must be a blip as it is forecast to re-intensify and return to hurricane strength by this weekend. That would make it a Category 3 hurricane as it gets closer to Bermuda.

Still, there are some troubling signs in the major computer models that meteorologists use to predict hurricane tracks a week or more in advance.

Forecasters say Florence is likely to weaken further over the next day or two and then regain strength as it nears Bermuda and the U.S. The storm is now over the open ocean, more than 1,000 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, moving northwest at 10 mph.

Another tropical wave was expected to move off the west coast of Africa on Friday.

Assuming the storm does come ashore, it is still too soon to know exactly where.

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The remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon were also dying off Thursday, with the storm downgraded to a depression as it moved inland over Mississippi.

As Tropical Storm Florence continued making its way toward the East Coast, North Carolina's governor issued a state of emergency.

The storm is forecast to get uncomfortably close to parts of the US east coast, including the Carolinas. Wherever the storm goes, beach-goers could see some impacts as early as this weekend.

This time of year, it's always a good idea to check hurricane kits and begin thinking about what steps you might take if a hurricane were to hit New England. Hurricane tracking models remains split in the longer term but they will likely begin tightening up in the coming days.

Tropical Storm Helene is the eighth named storm of season.

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