Florence forecast to restrengthen to a major hurricane before threatening US

Storm season peaks: Hurricane Florence still far from landfall, uncertainty remains for East Coast

Swells generated by Florence could cause risky rip currents and coastal flooding Saturday in areas including coastal DE and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said.

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

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a pre-emptive state of emergency on Saturday morning. The storm was traveling west at 8 miles per hour and had maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour. Gradual strengthening is forecast during the next few days, and the depression is expected to become a tropical storm later today and a hurricane by early next week.

The NHC encouraged residents along the east coast to review their hurricane plans.

Florence is still sitting in an area of significant wind shear, which has kept the storm from strengthening.

Though weakened to a tropical storm on Friday, Florence was expected to regain hurricane strength as it nears Bermuda over the weekend.

It is looking increasingly likely that Florence could hit the East Coast late next week.

Tropical Storm Helene will pass through the Cabo Verde Islands Saturday night and Sunday, then turn out to sea.

But the shear is abating and the storm is approaching warmer waters - conditions that could allow Florence to become a hurricane by Sunday and a major hurricane - meaning a Category 3 storm or greater - by Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said. If it does brush up against the coast, Cumberland County could see winds and rain, Morrow said.

"A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected by early next week and continue into middle part of next week".

Overnight weather models show Florence taking a mostly westerly course.

Please consult your local National Weather Service office at weather.gov for the latest information on any tropical or storms or hurricanes that could be a threat to your area.

Forecasters said it was too early to tell where Florence will go.

Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 9 is expected to become a tropical storm by late Saturday afternoon, at which point it would be named Isaac. It is pretty far south and with high pressure ridging in place over the Atlantic and Florida, should in the short and medium term be a Caribbean system.

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