Florence weakens to a tropical storm

Florence weakens to a tropical storm

Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and are expected to reach portions of the U.S. East Coast.

Tropical Storm Florence has winds of 65 mph on Saturday morning as it is located 840 miles southeast of Bermuda.

Florence, which weakened to a tropical storm overnight, is forecast to restrengthen back into a major hurricane as it approaches the U.S. East Coast next week. The biggest issue facing forecasters is the uncertainty of the path, but a direct hit of the U.S. East Coast is looking increasingly probable. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

Forecasters said it was too soon to tell where the storm would go.

With quick strengthening expected, keep it tuned to to the NBC2 First Alert Hurricane Tracking Team for the latest updates on Florence, and all systems in the Atlantic. As Florence's path moves closer to the US coastline in the next week Florence is expected to regain category three hurricane status.

Still, the European and American computer models showed a menacing hurricane coming dangerously close late next week to North Carolina's Outer Banks or the mid-Atlantic region, a significant shift westward from earlier model runs.

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According to a recent advisory by the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Florence may be a huge threat to the east coast.

A more pressing concern locally this weekend will be potential coastal flooding in Flagler and St. Johns counties, the National Weather Service said. Florence rapidly intensified into a category 4 hurricane earlier this week and has since weakened thanks to strong wind shear and dry air.

As of Thursday, the storm was moving northwest through the central Atlantic Ocean at a speed near 10 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

Beyond Florence, two other systems are gathering strength in the Atlantic Ocean. Many of us are not prepared for what it would be like if a hurricane made landfall here.

Another tropical wave was expected to move off the west coast of Africa on Friday.

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