Gov. McMaster declares state of emergency as Florence inches closer


Last winter when parts of Georgia received over a foot of snow, Firsthand Weather produced a highly-accurate forecast by going against climatology.

As of the 11 a.m. Saturday advisory, Florence had maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour and was moving to the west at 7 miles per hour. The storm is moving west at 6 miles per hour.

Tropical storm force winds could begin along the coast Wednesday evening and have the potential to impact the Triangle.

Florence already had been the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season earlier this week, but wind shear weakened it to a tropical storm.

On its current track, Florence is moving west, and so if it does make a landfall in North Carolina, it would near or north of Wilmington (based on the current forecast), moving NW at the time of landfall.

Tropical Storm Florence, now churning across the Atlantic Ocean, is increasingly likely to strike the East Coast late this week as a major hurricane. "Action today can avoid losses due to Florence". Meteorologists expect the tropical storm to evolve into a major hurricane by Tuesday night.

Hurricane Florence is more than 1,500 miles away from the coast of the Carolinas.

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A strong area of high pressure will develop north of Florence in the coming days. The consensus track from the National Hurricane Center increasingly is showing a likelihood of a landfall along the southeast United States coast.

The risk of direct impacts in the USA are increasing.

However, given the uncertainty in track and intensity forecasts at those time ranges, it's too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of those impacts. While it physically made sense that Florence could approach the coast, it's become apparent that I relied too strongly on how other tropical systems behaved in the same vicinity as Florence.

Cooper said state emergency management officials are working with local and federal agencies to prepare North Carolina for possible impacts from Florence.

SC has seen more than two dozen hurricane landfalls since 1893 - the most infamous being Hurricane Hugo, which came ashore just north of Charleston, a category three storm in 1989.

We'll continue to update the forecast for Florence regularly in the days to come. But it was expected to move on a mostly westward course during the next 24 hours.