A life-threatening storm surge is expected, despite the hurricane being downgraded to a Category 2 from a Category 4. These categories are based only on the speed of sustained winds, not other deadly factors like storm surge, rainfall or flooding.
With South Carolina's beach towns now more in the bull's-eye because of the shifting forecast, OH vacationers Chris and Nicole Roland put off their departure from North Myrtle Beach to get the maximum amount of time on the sand.
The outer bands of wind and rain from Hurricane Florence began lashing North Carolina on Thursday as the monster storm moved in for an extended stay along the Southeastern coast, promising to drench the properties of 10 million people with vast amounts of water.
At 2:20 a.m. EDT (0620 UTC) on September 13, 2018 the MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite looked at Hurricane Florence in infrared light.
The NHC notes that amount of rainfall would "produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding". It may move a little north into Virginia or a little south into SC.
People in areas vulnerable to the unsafe hurricane, particularly those in coastal regions, have fled ahead of the storm. Airlines had canceled almost 1,000 flights and counting.
Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and he said it will still be an extremely risky storm for rain and storm surge.
Florence's weakening as it neared the coast created tension between some who left home and authorities who anxious that the storm could still be deadly.
States up and down the East Coast have a great potential for severe weather.
Earlier on Wednesday, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said at a press conference that at least 50 shelters are open across the state.
Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms.
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Some bars pride themselves on staying open no matter how strong the winds and rains outside, but Florence - expected to be the most powerful hurricane in decades - is proving just too unsafe.
A hurricane watch is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC, to South Santee River, SC.
For a swath of the North Carolina shore from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, the storm surge could range from 9-13 feet, the NHC said.
The term "storm surge" refers to rising seas that are whipped up by a storm. However, the surge is expected to be accompanied by large and destructive waves, regardless of when the storm arrives. Tropical Storm Olivia is expected to move over Hawaii Wednesday or Thursday, KHNL reported.
Hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean form when easterly winds coming off the coast of Africa organize clouds into tower-like structures. Tropical Storm Olivia made a double landfall in Hawaii Wednesday morning, first in west Maui then Lanai, KHNL reports.
Authorities reversed the flow of traffic on the eastbound lanes of many highways to help residents evacuate and move inland more quickly, and that will continue in some areas for a while Thursday.
About 5.25 million people live in areas under hurricane warnings or watches, and 4.9 million live in places covered by tropical storm warnings or watches, the National Weather Service said. Only one storm scared them enough to leave the island.
The National Hurricane Center Tuesday afternoon increased its rainfall forecast to 15 to 25 inches of rain and 35 inches in isolated spots.
Scientists hypothesize that a warmer world will bring slower storms, so what we saw last year with Harvey - and now this year with Florence - could be a sign of those changes.
Another disturbance is swirling around in the Gulf of Mexico.