Miami, Fla. (970 WFLA)-At 8:00 AM, the center of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 26.4 North, longitude 64.6 West, about 405 miles south of Bermuda, about 950 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.
Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 15 mph. A west- northwestward to northwestward motion with a slight increase in forward speed are expected during the next couple of days. 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 on Thursday.
Reports from an Air Force Reserve Unit hurricane hunter aircraft indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 130 mph with higher gusts. However, Florence is still a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Re-strengthening is forecast to occur during the next day or so, and Florence is expected to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday night.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 40 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles.
Data from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that the minimum central pressure is 950 mb (28.05 inches).
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for... * Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border * Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers
A Hurricane Watch is in effect for... * Edisto Beach South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border * Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds
Interests elsewhere in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states should monitor the progress of Florence. Additional watches may be required later today.
Graphic Credit: NHC Miami