Atlantic Hurricane Season: From Zero to 2017 with Florence, More

Three storms churned in the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 8 2018.               National Hurricane Center

Three storms churned in the Atlantic Ocean on Sept. 8 2018. National Hurricane Center

The latest update from the National Hurricane Center shows the storm packing maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour, up from 105 miles per hour at 5 a.m. this morning, making it the first major hurricane of the 2018 season.

Isaac has lost some steam on its way to the Lesser Antilles, but the weather system is expected to remain "a strong tropical storm" as it gets closer to landfall, the National Hurricane Center (N.H.C.) said in its 5:00 a.m. advisory.

Warm Atlantic Ocean waters are adding to Florence's strength, and computer models predict that the storm will make landfall Thursday in North Carolina or SC as a major hurrican. "It is an extremely, dangerous, life-threatening, historic hurricane", said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper.

Forecasters say Florence will pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and start its approach to the US on Thursday morning.

Swells generated by Isaac will begin to affect portions of the Lesser Antilles on Wednesday afternoon. It was a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm but was expected to keep drawing energy from the warm water and intensify to near Category 5, which means winds of 157 miles per hour (253 kph) or higher.

None of the hurricanes now pose a threat to the Cayman Islands.

He estimated about 1 million residents would flee the coast of his state, following earlier orders for the evacuation of more than 50,000 people from the southern-most Outer Banks barrier islands of North Carolina.

Sustained winds have reached nearly 105 miles per hour.

At noon today, Florence was 750 miles southeast of the island, moving west at 6mph.

This enhanced satellite image shows Hurricane Florence, third from right, in the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday, with Isaac and Helene behind.

Hurricane Isaac, much farther out to sea, has become the fifth named hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season, the hurricane center added.

Maps of the storm's trajectory showed it likely to come ashore somewhere near the border of North Carolina and SC.

The eye of the massive storm is forecast to make landfall late Thursday or early Friday along a stretch of coastline already saturated by rising seas, and then meander for days.

Steve Pfaff, a warning coordination meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Wilmington office, warned impacts could include storm surge and wind damage, although the storm's path remains uncertain at this time.

“As a public safety note, the south shore will experience unsettled surf conditions associated with Hurricane Florence, and the public is encouraged to use caution on those beaches.”.

Florence has become even stronger over the Atlantic Ocean. But experts are urging people along the eastern seaboard to be especially cautious.

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