Hurricane Helene strengthens off coast of Africa, churns in Atlantic

Hurricane Helene strengthens off coast of Africa, churns in Atlantic

Hurricane Helene strengthens off coast of Africa, churns in Atlantic

The National Hurricane Center classified tropical storm Florence as a Category 1 hurricane, Sunday, warning that it would rapidly intensify into a major hurricane by Monday and could make the Thursday landfall as a Category 4 "extremely risky major hurricane".

Issac became the fifth hurricane of this season on Sunday night when it was around 1,300 miles east of the Windward Islands.

WILMINGTON - Hurricane Florence's track takes dead aim at the Wilmington region, with landfall expected early Friday, according to an advisory posted by the National Hurricane Center Monday morning.

On top of Irma and Maria, powerful category 4 hurricane Harvey inflicted $125billion worth of damage, mostly from catastrophic flooding in Houston, Texas, between August and September a year ago.

Florence was about 625 miles southeast of Bermuda as of 5 a.m. ET Monday.

Hurricane Isaac had maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour at 5 a.m. Monday, and is moving in the direction of the eastern Caribbean.

Tropical Storm Florence is becoming a "better organized" weather system that will likely strengthen into a hurricane late Saturday, weather forecasters said.

A high pressure system building to the northwest is expected to steer Florence over the next few days across the Atlantic as it picks up speed.

She just moved to the area two weeks ago from Northern Virginia and still doesn't have her furniture.

Florence could trigger heavy flooding as it lingers over areas already drenched by heavy rain, forecasters said.

Some portions of the Carolinas could see as much as 20 inches of rain from Florence, the National Weather Service said, which would lead to river flooding that "could last for days or weeks" after the storm.

The hurricane will pass through Bermuda before hitting the East Coast.

Florence is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. One high altitude jet, nicknamed Gonzo, has been flying through the storm to collect information over the weekend. The NHC now shows Isaac heading west across the tropical Atlantic between South America and the Caribbean, but a path and intensity beyond that is unknown as it moves toward the Lesser Antilles.

By noon, its maximum sustained winds had grown to near 130 mph — with higher gusts — and was centered about 580 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 13 mph. Forecasters predicted it would become a risky Category 4 storm before a possible landfall Friday.

Little change in strength is forecast today, with slight weakening starting tonight and continuing through Tuesday. But small storms tend to grow and shrink more rapidly than large storms.

The storm's first effects were already being seen on barrier islands as risky rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway.

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