Intensifying Hurricane Florence could strike US Southeast

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Hurricane Florence forecasts are increasingly pointing towards the possibility of a landfall somewhere on the us east coast, with model spread now indicating anywhere the Carolina's as the likely landfall spot, while intensity guidance still shows Florence regaining major hurricane status.

The NHC says Florence will rapidly strengthen to become a major hurricane - meaning Category 3 or higher, with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour (178 km/h) - later this morning.

"Additional strengthening is expected over the next day or two, " the hurricane center said.

"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", Governor Henry McMaster said at a news conference. Drawing energy from the warm water, the now Category 2 storm could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph) or more by Tuesday.

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper's office said Florence is already being felt along the state's coast, with large sea swells resulting in life-threatening rip currents and surf.

This storm is lined up behind Florence in the Atlantic.

The hurricane has turned west-northwestward, and high pressure is forecast to propel Florence on a course putting it on track for the southeastern coast of the US. The Central Pacific Hurricane Center has projected that Olivia will weaken and likely be a tropical storm by the time it hits the islands late Tuesday through Wednesday.

Hurricanes Helene and Isaac are not expected to hit the U.S. mainland.

The US government has been criticized for its response to Maria in Puerto Rico, a US commonwealth in the Caribbean.

As of 11 a.m. Monday, the hurricane was about 1,240 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear. People also need to make sure their pets and elderly neighbors are taken care of.

Both Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Storm Helene are expected to reach hurricane strength but neither is considered a threat to Bermuda.

"To the incredible citizens of North Carolina, South Carolina and the entire East Coast - the storm looks very bad!"

We here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit. Latest forecasts have Florence making landfall in the vicinity of Wilmington, North Carolina Thursday evening/night. The state's emergency management agency said it is "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster". "I plan to do most of my cooking on the grill". But, if an order is announced, it's important to understand the varying degrees of evacuations.

This morning, NOAA tweeted a video from the GOES-East weather satellite, also known as GOES-16, showing the storm's eye churning through the Atlantic.

Maui County is expected to experience tropical storm-level winds starting Tuesday.

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