Hurricane Florence forecasts are increasingly pointing towards the possibility of a landfall somewhere on the USA 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.
Hurricane Florence seen over the Atlantic Ocean, about 750 miles southeast of Bermuda in this handout photo provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on September 9, 2018. A Category 4 storm packs winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph) or more and has the potential for catastrophic damage.
The storm is 685 miles southeast of Bermuda, moving westward at 7 mph with maximum-sustained winds of 90 mph - and it's strengthening as it heads toward the East Coast.
Meteorologists with the National Weather Service said a landfall likely cannot be pinpointed for another 36 to 48 hours, but computer models and other indicators are lining up for a hit between the state line and Wilmington, but the storm could still hit anywhere from Savannah to Virginia.
The storm "is too powerful and its path is too uncertain to take any chances", South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said, issuing his state's emergency declaration.
"While the impacts of Tropical Storm Florence to Virginia are still uncertain, forecasts increasingly expect the storm to strengthen into a major hurricane that could seriously affect the East Coast and Virginians", Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam told reporters on Saturday.
A hurricane hunter plane found Florence strengthening quickly after it became a hurricane Sunday. What's worrisome is that the storm could stall at that point and wring out heavy, flooding rains throughout the area.
The region is also a big supplier of the nation's cotton, with North Carolina ranking ninth among states for the current 2018-19 crop year, SC 11 and Virginia 16.
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Florence is actually the lone major hurricane of the season so far as it was initially a category 4 hurricane in the open Atlantic before weakening and now restrengthening again. "I plan to do most of my cooking on the grill". It is about 1,230 miles east of the Windward Islands, moving west at 14 mph.
If or when hurricane Florence does make it to the US coastline it could do so as a major hurricane, as intensity forecasts show Florence reaching a higher storm category again.
Right now, many are in agreement the storm will make landfall on the US coastline. Hurricane-to-tropical-storm-force winds could extend inland, depending on the storm's track.
Red flags have already been flying on beaches, warning swimmers to stay out of the water as seas began kicking up.
SC emergency officials have elevated the state's readiness again, as they prepare for the possibility of Florence becoming a major hurricane and affecting the state. People rushed to get emergency kits ready, map out escape routes and fill sandbags and secure their homes.
"County officials are in continual discussions with South Carolina Emergency Management, coastal communities including local municipalities, the Governor's office and will continue to monitor the situation closely", a release from Horry County states.
In southeast Virginia, Naval Station Norfolk told not to leave their vehicles at the sprawling base later this week because of the flood threat.
Florida-based Carnival Cruise Line was re-routing its cruise ships, but there were other hurricanes to contend with.