Tropical Storm Florence gaining strength

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On Wednesday, Florence became the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season, with maximum sustained winds peaking at 130 miles per hour, making it a Category 4 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm's minimum central continues to drop, now at 946 millibars. The Hurricane Center is forecasting a turn toward the west-northwest with a further decrease in forward speed expected later Thursday, followed by a turn toward the west by the weekend. It was about 2,000 miles from the U.S. coastline, still too far out for a confident landfall prediction. While there are still a few model solutions that try to take Florence back out to sea, most long-term solutions see the westward track holding steady.

Florence is forecast to track west through the weekend, forecasters said.

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

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.

On the other hand, meteorologists said Florence "may evolve into a serious direct threat" and make landfall somewhere between southern New England the Carolinas next Wednesday or Thursday, AccuWeather.com reported.

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Florence weakened to a tropical storm overnight but continues to creep closer to the United States.

North Carolina's governor has declared a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Florence approaches the U.S. East Coast.

But the unusually strong high pressure system that is predicted to park itself north of the storm seems like it has the potential to push Florence on an unprecedented and potentially perilous course.

Each line represents a computer model's best "guess" of where the center of the storm will go.

"Since we are near the peak of hurricane season, this is a good time for everyone who lives in a hurricane-prone area to ensure they have their hurricane plan in place", hurricane specialist David Zelinsky wrote in a forecast advisory. They will be named Helene and Isaac, when they achieve sufficient organization, which is expected.

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