Hurricane Florence generating 83-foot waves

The National Hurricane Center downgraded Isaac to a tropical storm overnight but said Tuesday that it could be "at or near hurricane levels" on Thursday, when it approaches the Lesser Antilles Islands.

Ocala and Gainesville have a 5 percent chance of receiving tropical storm force wind and areas from about Lake City to Jacksonville have a 10 percent chance, National Hurricane Weather Service officials said.

The hurricane is now moving north at around 20km/h, and was expected to slow down today, becoming a tropical storm.

In addition to hurricane-force winds, Florence was forecast to produce large swells and life-threatening rip currents from the U.S. East Coast to Bermuda. It will continue to move to the west and away from the V.I. during the overnight hours.

The cyclone is expected to accelerate and turn toward the northeast over the weekend, says to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

A tropical storm warning is in effect for Martinique, Dominica and Guadeloupe, while a tropical storm watch is in effect for Antigua, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, and Saba and St Eustatius.

Although Helene is now a hurricane, it will weaken and be downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reaches the Azores.

Florence has 130 miles per hour winds, enough to make it a unsafe Category 4 hurricane. Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Hispaniola and Cuba.

While Hurricane Florence continues barreling toward the Carolina coast, the Caribbean got some good news Wednesday: Isaac appears to be weakening.

The storm has a raincloud band that's 900 kilometers wide - and it's coming alongside monsoon rains, creating risks for flash floods and landslides. That's out in open ocean, where waves are much larger than those reaching the coast as storm surge.

Forecasters have warned of life-threatening storm surges, catastrophic flooding, damaging winds, and unsafe rip currents along the coastlines of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. "Heavy and long-lasting rainfall could lead to catastrophic flooding in inland parts of North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia". Tropical storm conditions are possible within the tropical storm watch area, also beginning late this morning.

Like Isaac, Tropical Storm Joyce is packing maximum winds of about 65 km/h.

The storm is tracking to the west at 16 miles per hour.

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

  • Jon Douglas