Hurricane Florence projected path: How to track Hurricane Florence

TD Bank

Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a Category 2 storm but it is still considered an extremely unsafe and life-threatening storm.

As of 11am local time (3am NZT), Florence, a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm, was centred 785 kilometres southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, moving at 24kmh.

While some of the computer forecasting models conflicted, the latest projections more or less showed the storm shifting southward and westward in a way that suddenly put more of SC in danger and imperiled Georgia, too.

As Hurricane Florence continues to move toward the northwest at 15 miles per hour, we will see an increase in wind speed and rain chances starting Thursday morning. This storm is a slow-moving mammoth and will linger for days on the coast, heavily affecting not only North and SC but also Georgia and parts of Virginia before moving further inland, causing devastation to entire states throughout the weekend.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds now extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

Areas along the coast from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, NC, including the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay rivers may experience storm surges from 9 to 13 feet.

Florence could strengthen some over open water and then weaken as it nears land, but the difference won't make it any less risky, forecaster Stacy Stewart wrote in a National Hurricane Center discussion.

People in areas vulnerable to a unsafe hurricane have left or are fleeing ahead of the storm's expected Friday or Saturday landfall.

Florence is expected to start bringing tropical storm force winds to the Carolinas late Thursday.

Crews board up the Oceanic restaurant in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, in preparation for Hurricane Florence. Residents in some parts of the Carolinas have been ordered to evacuate.

"Rather than a very narrow and intense band of winds, the winds are slightly weaker - but [they] cover a much larger area", NHC senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said on Wednesday.

The Post and Courier: "Charleston area should prepare for at least some flooding from Hurricane Florence" - "While predictions show Hurricane Florence heading for North Carolina, the amount of rainfall it could send Charleston's way carries a potential for flooding".

"Just because we have a landfall to your south, that doesn't mean you're out of the woods, because the winds are huge around this system", NHC Director Ken Graham said, pointing out the wide risk of flooding. Forecasters also were tracking two other disturbances.

The impact of storm surge on the coast will depend on whether the storm's arrival coincides with high tide.

"Bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size", Trump said Wednesday morning. But the change was probably temporary and didn't do anything to lessen the danger, said Jeff Byard, an administrator with the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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