Hurricane Florence track shows landfall in NC w/ increasing impacts in SC

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) -

The new Hurricane Florence track is showing landfall in southeastern North Carolina but followed by a more westward turn increasing impacts for South Carolina. 

The late Tuesday night update shows Florence continuing to barrel towards the west as a Category 4 Hurricane with maximum sustained winds at near 140 mph. 

New National Hurricane Center reports show the track moving further west following landfall in North Carolina on Friday increasing impacts for the Palmetto state which include heavy rains, heavy wind and storm surge. 

The shift west into South Carolina after landfall is attributed to a big area of high pressure in the north that is keeping the hurricane to the south causing Florence to move towards the Carolinas.

Live 5 Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh says the big critical question is where does Florence start to turn west. 

Wherever it gets over land, the hurricane is expected to decrease in power to a Category 2 Hurricane and eventually decrease to a depression. 

Torrential rainfall is possible throughout the life of the storm.   

Hurricane warnings continue for Georgetown and Horry counties. In addition, a Hurricane Watch remains in effect from Edisto Beach to Georgetown County which includes Charleston County. 

The storm is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to the coastline where it makes landfall.

Currently, Florence is about 1075 miles east southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. 

Tuesday's model tracks continue to show a landfall in the southeastern coast of North Carolina on Friday morning, maintaining its Category 4 status. 

Walsh says we could see adjustments to the models throughout the next few days that may bring severe weather to South Carolina including "tremendous amounts of rainfall" starting Friday along the coast. 

Walsh stresses that models are fluid and continue to change as Florence approaches the Carolinas. 

On Wednesday, Florence is expected to strengthen to near Category 5 strength, but diminish to a Category 4 before its expected landfall in North Carolina.

A Storm Surge Warning has been issued from the South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina; and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued from South Santee River, South Carolina, to Duck, North Carolina, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

In addition, a Storm Surge Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina; and North of Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina; and North of Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border

A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Virginia; Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort; Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina; and north of Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

Finally, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Virginia; and Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

At 11 p.m., the center of the eye of Hurricane Florence was located by satellite near latitude 28.4 North, longitude 68.7 West, approximately 1075 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.

A motion toward the west-northwest and northwest is expected through early Thursday, according to National Hurricane Center officials.

"Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday," NHC officials said."On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas through Wednesday, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday."

Maximum sustained winds are near 140 mph (220 km/h) with higher gusts.

According to NHC officials, Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Strengthening is forecast for Tuesday night and Wednesday.

"While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through landfall," NHC officials said. 

The hurricane is expected to remain a powerful storm for the next few days, and it has the potential to become a Category 5 Hurricane, according to Chief Meteorologist Bill Walsh. 

Still, it remains unclear where Florence will make landfall, and, therefore, which areas will feel the worst impact.

Isaac downgraded to Tropical Storm

At 11 p.m., the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located near latitude 14.5 North, longitude 52.3 West.

Isaac is moving toward the west near 16 mph.

A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through the end of the week.

On the forecast track, Isaac should move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday. Maximum sustained winds are near 70 mph with higher gusts.

Helene strengthening rapidly in Atlantic

At 11 p.m., the eye of Hurricane Helene was located near latitude 14.5 North, longitude 52.3 West.

Helene is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (22 km/h).

Currently, it's about 725 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands. 

A west- northwestward motion with a decrease in forward speed is expected through late Tuesday, followed by a turn toward the northwest and then toward the north-northwest on Wednesday and Thursday.

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