Here's what we know about the track and strength of Hurricane Florence

Here's what we know about the track and strength of Hurricane Florence

Here's what we know about the track and strength of Hurricane Florence

Winds and massive waves will pound coastal North and SC when Florence makes landfall on Friday, and its rains will take a heavy toll for miles inland, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned.

A million people have been told to evacuate coastal parts of the eastern United States as Hurricane Florence churns towards the country.

As of 4 p.m., the hurricane force winds associated with Florence were 90-100 miles wide, and the maximum sustained winds were clocked at 130 mph, according to the National Weather Service, which reported that the wind gusts were even higher.

Trump has declared states of emergency for North and SC ahead of the Category 4 hurricane, which frees up help from federal agencies.

Expected to gather force later Tuesday, Florence may cause "life-threatening" storm surge in coastal parts of North and SC, the National Hurricane Center said in an advisory Tuesday.

On Tuesday, Washington D.C.'s mayor, Muriel Bowser, declared a state of emergency in the District ahead of the hurricane, effective immediately. The hurricane is expected to approach the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Florence, which was briefly downgraded to a tropical storm last week, was re-upgraded to hurricane status on Sunday and looks like it is destined to barrel straight at the U.S.' East Coast.

Florence is now a Category 4 hurricane, packing winds of up to 140mph (224kph).

"All the rainfall we're going to have, plus you talk about the wind - that means a lot of trees coming down, it's a lot of power outages, a lot of impacts with this system."

"It's too early at this point to be precise with how these impacts are going to stack up", he said, "but there is a huge potential someone is going to sustain devastating impacts as a result of this storm". This pattern will lead to catastrophic conditions in South and North Carolina as well as Virginia.

"I'm telling them to go inland, but I'm anxious about the rain and tornadoes too", Roberts said.

In addition, forecasters expect Florence to drench areas along its direct path with 38 to 50 centimeters of rain.

In the reprieve of the storm's eye, NOAA hurricane scientist Heather Holbach captured Atlantic blue skies above Florence's towering vertical walls from the hurricane hunter aircraft.

Southeastern North Carolina remains in the middle of the storm's "cone of uncertainty", with the cone extending from roughly Hilton Head, S.C., in the south to the Chesapeake Bay in the north. A Category 4 hurricane at its strongest, Olivia spent about a week swishing around in the Pacific Ocean without making landfall before it weakened into a tropical storm.

Satellites and astronauts will continue to monitor Hurricane Florence from the safe vantage point of space.

On Monday, McMaster ordered residents of eight coastal counties to evacuate.

"We could cover several states easily with the cloud cover alone", Graham said.

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