TROPICS: Florence expected to produce damaging winds in Carolinas

That also means that colossal weather systems like Hurricane Florence are easy to observe as the spacecraft cruises along. It is expected to remain an extremely unsafe hurricane through Thursday as it approaches the coast of the Carolinas.

As of early Monday, the storm was getting stronger, with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

Florence strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane on Monday.

The first effects of what forecasters are already calling a large and extremely unsafe hurricane were already being seen on barrier islands Monday as risky rip currents and seawater flowed over the state highway.

Over the weekend, the governors of Virginia, North Carolina and SC declared states of emergency, according to CNN.

"North Carolina is taking Hurricane Florence seriously, and you should, too", Cooper said. The island state is still recovering from Hurricane Lane, which brought flooding rains to many areas last month. The U.S. military said it was sending an advanced team to Raleigh, North Carolina, to coordinate with federal and state partners and that about 750 military personnel will be designated to provide support.

"The largest threat to life from hurricanes is not the high winds". Information on the storm-tide sensor deployment and the incoming data will be available on the USGS "Flood Event Viewer" at https://stn.wim.usgs.gov/FEV/#FlorenceSep2018.

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In Virginia, home to the world's largest sea base, the United States navy has ordered all ships to sea in preparation for the storm, where they can more safely ride out the violent wind and waves. The USGS is coordinating with the National Weather Service, FEMA, and state and local agencies to put the rapid deployment gauges in places with the greatest need.

According to USA Today, the National Hurricane Centre has said Florence is set to hit the US East Coast later this week, possibly as early as Wednesday.

Off the state's coast, large sea swells and unsafe rip currents were already apparent over the weekend, foreshadowing the storm's arrival. Mandatory evacuations have begun along North Carolina's coast.

He estimated about 1 million residents would flee the coast of his state, following earlier orders for the evacuation of more than 50,000 people from the southern-most Outer Banks barrier islands of North Carolina.

And the timing couldn't be more apt: Monday is the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, when storm activity is historically at its highest. It was centered about 1,230 miles east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph. The hurricane center announced the change in an update, citing data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft that showed Florence was rapidly intensifying, with maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour.

Isaac is expected to reach landfall in the Caribbean later this week.

Maria - which killed at least 3,057 people, most in Puerto Rico - is believed to be the third-costliest tropical cyclone on record.

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