Storm Helene to bring wet and windy weather to Ireland

The forecast track for Tropical Storm Isaac at 11 a.m

Forecasters say Florence is now a tropical storm but will continue to threaten North and SC with powerful winds and catastrophic freshwater flooding.

The poorly organized, 45-mph storm is not expected to strengthen but should maintain its tropical storm strength for the next few days. The tropical storm is tracking to the west at 20 miles per hour with top winds of 60 miles per hour with higher gusts.

The Miami-based center says the center of the eye moved ashore with top sustained winds of 90 miles per hour (150 kph), making Florence a Category 1 hurricane in terms of wind intensity.

On Wednesday morning, a National Weather Service satellite monitoring the storm recorded waves reaching heights of 83 feet-or the equivalent of an eight-story building.

While now classified as a hurricane, Helene will be downgraded to a storm by the time it reaches the shores of Northern Ireland.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves".

Hurricane Florence to hit USA coast, hundreds of thousands evacuated from homes
This morning, the radar loop out of Morehead North Carolina is beginning to show those fans of heavy rain closing in on the coast. States of emergency have been declared in North and SC as well as Virginia as the hurricane approaches.

Everyone's attention has been focused on Florence, but the statistical peak of the Atlantic hurricane is certainly living up to its reputation this year.

The probable path of Isaac as of Thursday morning.

Rainfall also is swelling waterways: Meteorologist Ryan Maue of weathermodels.com calculated that 34 million people in the USA are forecast to get at least 3 inches of rain from Hurricane Florence, with more than 5.7 million people probably getting at least a foot of rain. Expect winds to increase on Saturday to 15-30mph across the entire CSRA, with the 30mph more likely in the northern/eastern areas.

In a briefing today (Friday, September 14), the national meteorological office said that current guidance indicates that Helene will take a northeastward track towards Irish shores in the early days of next week. Parts of North Carolina had seen storm surges - the bulge of seawater pushed ashore by the hurricane - as high as 10 feet (3 meters), he said. Fountain says most storms are an inconvenience, "but Hurricane Florence will be a life-changing event for many people here in the Carolinas".

Forecasters at the Met Office have issued severe weather alerts as Hurricane Helene creeps closer to the UK.

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