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Hurricane Florence causing 85-mph winds, will become major hurricane Monday
11 September 2018, 12:47 | Justin Tyler
Hurricane Florence approaches east US, set to become ‘extremely dangerous’ storm
Its maximum sustained winds are at 105 miles per hour (165 kmh).
And the timing couldn't be more apt: Monday is the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, when storm activity is historically at its highest. To the west, a tropical disturbance has developed over the northwest Caribbean Sea.
According to the North Carolina Emergency Management agency on September 9, there is now an "increasing risk of life-threatening impacts: storm surge at coast, flooding inland ..."
The center of the strong storm is about 1,240 miles east-southeast of Bald Head Island, with the hurricane moving westward at roughly 13 mph.
While Arnold and his fellow Expedition 56 crewmembers have been keeping an eye on Hurricane Florence and other Atlantic storms, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has been monitoring the weather systems with its Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite (GOES) series. That storm was centred 185 km south southeast of the islands.
The storm is forecast to continue towards the United States, and approach the southeastern coast by Thursday.
As of Sunday night, hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 25 miles from Florence's center, while tropical storm winds extended up to 125 miles. Mandatory evacuations have begun along North Carolina's coast. "Take every available precaution".
Steve Pfaff, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Wilmington office, warned impacts could include storm surge and wind damage, although the storm's path remains uncertain at this time. It has maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour and is moving to the west at 13 miles per hour.
Florence is one of three hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean, along with Helene and Isaac.
N.C. Emergency Management is coordinating with counties, the federal emergency management agency and other key partners ahead of the storm.
Unsafe storms are also threatening parts of the U.S.in the Pacific Ocean.
The Navy said all ships in Virginia's coastal Hampton Roads area were preparing to leave port for open seas. "Storm Surge and Hurricane watches could be issued for portions of these areas by Tuesday (Sept. 11) morning", said the NHC in the update.
"Whatever happens, we're going to have a lot of rain and a lot of wind, even if the hurricane goes farther north", McMaster said.
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