Florence strengthens to a major hurricane as it moves toward the East Coast

Hurricane Central

CHARLESTON, SC (WCBD) – Florence becomes a major category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph with the 11 AM Monday update. Rapid intensification is expected over the next 24 hours and Florence is expected to be a dangerous category 4 hurricane early Wednesday.

The storm is located about 580 miles south-southeast of Bermuda or 1240 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. The storm struggled to make a turn to the west-northwest Monday morning, but it is pick up some speed, moving west at 13 mph. A slight turn to the west-northwest with an increase in forward motion is expected over the next couple of days, then a turn to the northwest is forecast Wednesday night. An approach toward the Carolinas is expected Thursday.

Hurricane force winds extend out of the center about 30 miles and tropical storm-force winds extend out about 140 miles. The storm is starting to grow is size as it continues to strengthen.

Currently, there are no tropical watches or warnings issued for the United States. However, swells generated by Florence are creating hazardous conditions along the coast of South Carolina. Life-threatening surf and rip current conditions are likely at the coast through the upcoming week. 

SURF: Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather office.

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