Major Hurricane Florence currently with max winds about 120 knots was moving west at 11 knots. A building ridge to the north is forecast to steer Florence WNW then NW during the next 48-72 hours with an increase in forward speed. Conditions remain favorable for deepening with max intensity possibly reaching 130-140 knots. Increasing wind shear forecast in about 72 hours may weaken the max winds just prior to landfall late Thursday night along the coast of North Carolina.
Key Messages from the NHC:
1. A life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the coastlines of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, and a Storm Surge Watch will likely be issued for some of these areas by Tuesday morning. All interests from South Carolina into the mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials.
2. Life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over the Carolinas and Mid Atlantic for hundreds of miles as Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.
3. Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina, and a Hurricane Watch will likely be issued by Tuesday morning. Damaging winds could also spread well inland into portions of the Carolinas and Virginia.
4. Large swells affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast will continue this week, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.