COMING TO GEORGIA: Florence expected to become major hurricane; eyes Georgia, Carolinas

 – Tropical Storm Florence is expected to return to hurricane strength Sunday and to become a major hurricane as it continues its approaches the East Coast.

The official National Hurricane Center forecast has Florence intensifying to a Category 4 hurricane by midweek.  While there is still uncertainty on where it will track, models are more focused on a path towards the Carolinas by Thursday.  Keep in mind, any subtle change in the track can mean big changes in impacts. Therefore, areas from northern Florida and northwards along the eastern seaboard need to monitor forecasts closely in the days ahead.

As of 5 a.m. Sunday morning, Florence’s maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 70 mph. The storm was centered about 640 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 6 mph.

As the center of the storm passes in a northwestward motion between Bermuda and the Bahamas, experts are predicting an increase in speed, building up more by Sunday and increasing until Tuesday.

Florence-generated swells are affecting Bermuda and starting to reach parts of the U.S. East Coast.

Officials in North Carolina declared a State of Emergency Friday evening, urging residents to use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster. South Carolina’s Emergency Management Division has also advised coastal residents to start making contingency plans.