Tropical storm Florence likely to become a hurricane, forecasters say

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Hurricane Florence strengthened early on Monday, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour (170 kph), and forecasters warned that it is "expected to become a major hurricane very soon" as it churns toward the U.S. East Coast.

"While it is too soon to determine the exact timing, location and magnitude of these impacts, interest at the coast and inland from SC into the mid-Atlantic region should closely monitor the progress of Florence", said a NOAA statement. Helene's expected to turn north well ahead of threatening the U.S. East Coast.

States of emergency have been declared in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia as residents were told to "pretend, assume, presume" Hurricane Florence will make it to land from the Carribbean.

The National Hurricane Center reclassified Florence as a hurricane in its 11 a.m. report while also issuing advisories in the Atlantic for two other tropical storms expected to become hurricanes: Isaac and Helene.

Hurricane Florence shows it targeting the Carolinas by Thursday
ABC News The track for Hurricane Florence shows it targeting the Carolinas by Thursday

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus warned on Twitter that it could become one of the worst storms in United States history.

Additional strengthening is forecast, and Isaac is expected to become a hurricane tonight.

Think your friends would be interested? Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune urged people to secure their homes but said it was too early to know if evacuations will be ordered.

Florence's predicted path, as of early Monday morning.

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Hurricane Florence is strengthening and now has sustained winds of 90 miles per hour.

There have been six tropical storms in the Atlantic basin this year.

North Carolina's Gov. Roy Cooper also declared a State of Emergency for his state on Friday.

As of 5 p.m. Olivia was about 595 miles east-northeast of Hilo, packing maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.

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Tropical Depression Nine became Tropical Storm Isaac on Saturday afternoon over the eastern tropical Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center said. The state's emergency management agency said it's "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster". Drawing energy from the warm water, the now Category 2 storm could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130 miles per hour or more by Tuesday.

If Florence stays on it's projected path as forecast by the National Hurricane Center, we will be on the west side of the storm, which is the "drier" side, and our rain chances will be a bit lower by the end of the week.

Both Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Storm Helene are expected to reach hurricane strength later today, but neither are considered potential threats.

The storm's maximum sustained winds remain near 85 km/h with higher gusts and it is moving west near 15 km/h.

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