At 11 p.m. EDT, the storm's center was located about 465 miles (750 kilometers) south-southeast of Bermuda and about 1,085 miles (1745 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. A storm with sustained winds of at least 111 miles per hour classifies as a Category 3 major hurricane, according to the NHC.
"There is an increasing risk of life-threatening impacts from Florence: storm surge at the coast, freshwater flooding from a prolonged and exceptionally heavy rainfall event inland, and damaging hurricane-force winds", the National Hurricane Center said in an update on Florence's progress at 5 a.m. Monday.
President Donald Trump issued a strong warning to those in the path of Hurricane Florence, which is on track to hit the East Coast as a major storm later this week.
Henry McMaster ordered an evacuation of the state's entire coast starting at noon Tuesday ahead of Hurricane Florence, leaving residents of Beaufort County wondering if they will be able to return to their homes if they choose to stay this week.
"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", the governor told a press conference.
The National Hurricane Center expects Florence to pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then approach the USA states of North Carolina and SC by late Thursday into Friday.
Now tracking in the Atlantic Ocean southeast of the USA mainland, "A turn toward the northwest is forecast to occur late Wednesday night", the latest NHC dispatch stated.More news: Donald Trump's visit to Ireland in November cancelled
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A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and Florence will be moving over waters where temperatures are peaking near 30C, hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote.
While the hurricane center says Isaac is a very small hurricane, its intensity could fluctuate as it approaches the Caribbean - but it's still expected to be at or near hurricane strength by the time it reaches the Lesser Antilles.
For us, though, if it continue along this path, and favors the right of the track, we would be further from the center of the storm, and on the left side, which tends to be the cleaner and calmer side.
A mandatory evacuation was ordered for residents of Hatteras Island and some other areas of Dare County in North Carolina. The state's emergency management agency said it's "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster". "We're just a strip of land - we're a barrier island", she said.
North Carolina's governor declared a state of emergency on Sunday, one day after SC. She grew up on the shore, and says this will be only the second time she's evacuated. "When weather forecasters tell us 'life-threatening, ' we know that it is serious". The storm is forecast to strengthen even more.
"Satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 115 miles per hour (185 km/h) with higher gusts".
Not a lot of models have the storm veering away from the predicted course since meteorologists aren't seeing any factors like wind shear or weather fronts that would weaken or deflect the storm, Eck explained.
The hurricane center's description of a Category 4 hurricane begins with "catastrophic damage will occur".