Science

Hurricane Florence looks absolutely wild from the International Space Station

Hurricane Florence looks absolutely wild from the International Space Station

Hurricane Florence is expected to grow into an "extremely dangerous" hurricane by Monday as it approaches the US East Coast, the National Hurricane Center said, urging residents to make preparations.

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour and was moving west-northwest at about 9 miles per hour, the hurricane center said.

As of 12pm EST, the storm was centered approximately 1,230 miles from Cape Fear, North Carolina.

The Atlantic hurricane's maximum sustained winds have increased to almost 130 miles per hour (195 kilometers per hour), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in an advisory issued at noon Eastern Time (1600 GMT).

"These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents", the hurricane center said.

By the time it reaches the USA mainland, the NHC says Florence will strengthen into "an extremely unsafe major hurricane".

Gov. Henry McMaster has ordered mandatory evacuations for all coastal SC counties starting at noon on Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Florence's projected landfall.

CNN's forecasters warn that Florence could be the strongest and most devastating hurricane to hit North and SC in about three decades. The current forecast track suggests the hurricane will most likely approach North Carolina or SC on Thursday as it gathers speed.

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Now tracking in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the USA mainland, "A turn toward the northwest is forecast to occur late Wednesday night", the latest NHC dispatch stated. Further, residents and tourists should expect heavy prolonged rain upon the storm's arrival.

Hurricanes Isaac, which could hit Caribbean islands, and Helene, much farther out to sea, lined up behind Florence as the 2018 Atlantic season reached its peak.

The hurricane could remain powerful as it passes over the United States mainland, the NHC warned on Monday morning.

Cooper and his counterparts in neighbouring SC and Virginia ordered about 1 million people to evacuate coastal homes, including along the Outer Banks barrier islands. She said city emergency personnel met Monday to review plans and a state of emergency was declared. "Be prepared. Be ready", said Gov. Henry McMaster.

"This latest briefing is part of the President's monitoring of multiple storms that are predicted to affect the U.S.in the coming days", Sanders said in the statement, adding that the White House is in contact with governor's offices in all the areas affected, including the Carolinas. "While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of these impacts, interests at the coast and inland from SC into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, and follow any advice given by local officials". The northern-most landfall, was made by Hazel, a devastating and deadly storm that struck close to the South Carolina/North Carolina border in October of 1954.

But those in its path weren't wasting time. As of 5 p.m., hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the storm's center, while tropical storm-force winds extend out 150 miles.

"North Carolina faces three threats here".

Hurricane Florence, which was barely a Category 1 hurricane 24 hours ago, is now a Category 3-and it continues its steady advance toward the eastern seaboard.