8pm Saturday: Tropical Storm Florence Update

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for South Santee River South Carolina to Surf City North Carolina.



At 800 PM EDT (0000 UTC), the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located by NOAA Doppler radars near latitude 33.6 North, longitude 80.1 West.  Florence is moving toward the west near 2 mph (4 km/h), and a slow westward motion is expected to continue through tonight. A turn toward the west-northwest and northwest is expected on Sunday.  Florence is forecast to turn northward through the Ohio Valley by Monday.

Surface observations indicate that maximum sustained winds remain near 45 mph (75 km/h) with higher gusts, mainly to the northeast and east of the center in heavy rainbands over water.  Gradual weakening is forecast while Florence moves farther inland during the next couple of days, and it is expected to weaken to a tropical depression tonight or by Sunday morning.

Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 150 miles (240 km) mainly to the east of the center near the coast and over water.

Within the past hour or two, a sustained wind of 46 mph (74 km/h) with a gust to 59 mph (95 km/h) was reported at the Johnny Mercer Pier in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina.  A wind gust to 45 mph (72 km/h) was recently reported near Hartsville, South Carolina.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on nearby surface observations is 997 mb (29.44 inches).

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