Tropical Storm Florence continues to churn toward United States coast

Tropical Storm Florence continues to churn toward United States coast

As we get into the heart of this year's hurricane season, all eyes are on the Atlantic where things are starting to heat up.

As of early September, the 2018 hurricane season had been calm compared to the frenzy of 2017, in which three major storms - Harvey, Irma, and Maria - wrought havoc in the Caribbean and on the USA mainland.

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Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Friday, just a day after Tropical Storm Florence was downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane.

The latest forecast from the U.S. National Hurricane Center said, "Florence is moving toward the west near 9 miles per hour (14 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple days".

Florence is likely to reintensify over the next few days. Florence is expected to begin a turn toward the west-northwest, but a strong ridge forecast to develop between Bermuda and the northeastern United States could keep Florence on a west-northwestward trajectory.

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“It may take the cyclone some time to gather itself once the shear abates, but once it becomes vertically stacked again, the intensity is likely to increase significantly.”. It appears the high pressure filling in behind Florence will extend far enough south to block this system from turning north.

AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski said: 'An area of high pressure over the central Atlantic will bridge westward and join with an existing high pressure near the U.S. East coast over the next several days.

The National Hurricane Center on Friday was showing a projected path for Florence that could take the storm along the North Carolina coast.

"Swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda [Friday] and will reach portions of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend", the center said. Portions of the east coast could see rip currents this weekend.

A new tropical storm has formed in the eastern Atlantic off the western coast of Africa. Helene has winds of 45 mph, and is 330 miles from the Cabo Verde Islands.

Forecasters expect the storm to bring tropical storm conditions to parts of the Cabo Verde Islands on Saturday night and Sunday. Locally, up to 8 inches of rain is expected in the Cabo Verde Islands.

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