Hurricane Florence strengthens as it barrels toward the Carolinas, NHC says
Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the Carolinas and expected to make landfall late Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm was still spinning out in the Atlantic as of 4:30 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, but winds from the storm could arrive on the Carolinas coast as soon as Wednesday evening, according to the latest NHC track.
“On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina in the hurricane watch area Thursday and Friday,” the NHC wrote in its 2 p.m. update on Thursday.
At 5 p.m. Eastern, the eye’s center was near latitude 27.5 North, longitude 67.1 West, according to satellite information from the National Hurricane Center.
As of 4 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, Hurricane Florence was between 200-250 miles wide, according to Doug Anderson with the National Weather Service office in Columbia, South Carolina.
Winds from the Category 4 storm are near 130 mph and the storm is expected to continue to strengthen, the NHC said.
Hurricane-force winds expand out from the center of the storm up to 60 miles, with tropical-storm-force winds extending up to 170 miles, the NHC said.
Florence was moving toward the East Coast at a rate of about 17 mph and picking up speed, the NHC said.
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