Tropical Storm Florence gaining strength

Storm season peaks: Hurricane Florence still far from landfall, uncertainty remains for East Coast

The National Hurricane Center on Friday was showing a projected path for Florence that could take the storm along the North Carolina coast. "So, there are still lots of options".

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday that Tropical Storm Helene was located about 290 miles (466.69 kilometers) east-southeast of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

North Carolina governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Friday evening and urged residents to prepare for the worst over the weekend.

"While it's still too early to know the storm's path, we know we have to be prepared", he said in a written statement. "During harvest, time is of the essence".

His executive order waives transportation rules to help farmers harvest and transport their crops more quickly.

SURF: Swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda later today and will reach portions of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend. Strengthening into a tropical storm is forecast this weekend and possibly a hurricane early next week as it approaches the Lesser Antilles.

According to the latest Accuweather forecast the expected indirect impact of Florence may evolve into a serious direct threat.

A cold front will be pushing through the area today which will result in storm and shower chances by this afternoon.

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The good news, the high temp is 86 degrees and the heat index is under 90.

Tropical Storm Helene formed just west of Africa in the early morning hours of Saturday.

Florence is likely to reintensify over the next few days.

Forecasters expect the storm to bring tropical storm conditions to parts of the Cabo Verde Islands on Saturday night and Sunday. Officials say heavy rainfall on the islands could produce life-threatening flash floods.

The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring a low-pressure system about 600 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands.

“All the while, sea surface temperatures will be gradually increasing to between 28 to 29C (82.4 to 84.2F), and perhaps more importantly, oceanic heat content values will double in three to four days, ” the NHC site added. It is pretty far south and with high pressure ridging in place over the Atlantic and Florida, should in the short and medium term be a Caribbean system.

This story will be updated throughout the day as the storm develops.

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