Gov. Cooper issues emergency orders in advance of storm to help farmers

Storm season peaks: Hurricane Florence still far from landfall, uncertainty remains for East Coast

Still nearly 1,800 miles from the East Coast, the tropical storm remains a week away from a potential US landfall, according to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center.

It's too early to tell if the storm will make landfall somewhere on the East Coast, or if it will turn harmlessly back to sea. Large uncertainty in model forecasts make it too soon to determine the location, magnitude and timing of the storm's impacts next week.

On Wednesday, the storm was ranked a Category 4 hurricane, packing winds up to 130 miles per hour. The storm is expected to intesify into a major hurricane as it approaches the U.S. East Coast. It was about 2,000 miles from the USA coastline, still too far out for a confident landfall prediction.

Swells from the storm were expected to hit Bermuda by Friday and could reach parts of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend, possibly generating life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

On Wednesday, Hurricane Florence became the first major hurricane of the 2018 season in the Atlantic Ocean.

It is carrying maximum sustained winds near 35 miles per hour, and at 2 p.m., it was located about 440 miles of southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

Tropical Storm Helene formed quickly after moving off the African coast Friday.

Earlier today, Gov. Cooper said state emergency management officials are working with local and federal counterparts to prepare North Carolina for possible impacts from Florence. The National Hurricane Center also recommends to go over their hurricane plans should they need to use them next week. Some forecast models indicated the storm slamming into land sometime late next week, while others indicate it would curve away from the sore.

Projections show a meandering course for a southerly pass through Bermuda waters on Tuesday, but the NHC said a variety of models were in play as wind shear jostled the storm.

The tropical wave is now given a 10 percent to develop over the next 48 hours and 50 percent over the next five days.

Keep in mind these forecast models will continue to change, and nothing is set in stone.

Related news: