Published: Wed, September 12, 2018
Sci-tech | By Bennie Mills

TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

Helene, meanwhile, was still in the Atlantic's spawning ground for hurricanes off the coast of Africa, swirling with 105 mph winds and forecast to become a major hurricane, about 375 miles west of the Cape Verde islands.

President Donald Trump says the safety of the American people is his "absolute highest priority" as Hurricane Florence takes aim at portions of the East Coast.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) says Hurricane Helene is now located about 375 miles west of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands. The minimum central pressure is 945 mb.

There are no coastal warnings or watches associated with the storm.

A hurricane warning is in effect for...

A hurricane watch is in effect for Guadeloupe, Martinique and Dominica.

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In coastal Charleston, South Carolina, city officials offered sandbags to residents.

After landfall, Florence is projected to stall somewhere in the mid-Atlantic region, where it will pose a significant flood threat because of the incredible amount of rainfall it's forecast to dump.

Forecasters said parts of North Carolina could get 20 inches of rain, if not more, with as much as 10 inches elsewhere in the state and in Virginia, parts of Maryland and Washington, D.C.

The storm's first effects were already being seen on barrier islands as unsafe rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway.

Florence interrupted her stay on North Carolina's Outer Banks.

The NHC added that Florence, which reached major hurricane status several days ago but weakened into a tropical storm, now has an eye. The hurricane center announced the change in an update, citing data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft that showed Florence was rapidly intensifying, with maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour.

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Hurricane Isaac continues to move west and is expected to reach the eastern Caribbean Sea by Thursday. Forecasters say that because of the size the storm is expected to attain, it will wreak havoc regardless of how strong its winds are.

There is great uncertainty regarding Isaac, so we encourage you to check back often for updates.

Of the two other storms, which remain far from land, Isaac poses the most immediate risk. Helene will not threaten the United States.

An area of showers and storms moving into the Gulf of Mexico will have a high chance of development (70%) by Thursday.

Other models show Isaac recurving near or east of the Lesser Antilles toward a developing trough over the central Atlantic Ocean.

By July, after a relatively quiescent period for Atlantic hurricanes, experts predicted that the season would end up with an average or slightly less than an average number of hurricanes.

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