Tropical Storm Helene moves toward western coast of Africa

Hurricane Florence has the potential to make landfall on the East Coast but it is still too early to tell

Florence became the first Category 4 hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season before slowing down a bit - with its maximum sustained winds decreasing to near 65 miles per hour, the NOAA reported.

According to meteorologist Ryan Maue, there may be a chance that the storm could turn away. But that may must be a blip as it is forecast to re-intensify and return to hurricane strength by this weekend.

This time previous year, residents of the Lowcountry were watching Hurricane Irma, then a Category 5 storm, make its way toward the eastern United States.

Overnight weather models show Florence taking a mostly westerly course. "However, there is still very large uncertainty in model forecasts of Florence's track beyond day (five), making it too soon to determine the exact location, magnitude, and timing of these impacts", hurricane specialist Robbie Berg wrote in a forecast advisory.

The second storm is now a tropical wave off the west coast of Africa that in its early stages is far more advanced than either Florence or Disturbance 1.

Hubbard said with this storm it's hard to confidently say what it's going to do two days from now, let alone where it will be next week. It is not yet known if Florence will make landfall.

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The NHC encouraged residents along the east coast to review their hurricane plans.

Florence's forecast track overlaid on a map of current sea surface temperature. But late this weekend, it appears Florence will pass the first fork, and we will see if it gets captured by the blocking high.

Now is the time to beginning thinking about hurricane preparedness if you live along or near the coast. Trim them now. Declutter drains and gutters.

"We are entering the peak of hurricane season and we know well the unpredictability and power of these storms", Cooper said.

The European and American models have shifted westward, consistently showing a menacing hurricane coming dangerously close to the Eastern Seaboard. They will be named Helene and Isaac, when they achieve sufficient organization, which is expected.

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