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Florence projected to strengthen to major hurricane

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Tropical Storm Florence was expected to restrengthen over the weekend. Image courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

UPI

Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm Friday as it moved toward the U.S. East Coast, but the National Hurricane Center said it expects the storm to re-strengthen into a major hurricane.

The eye of the storm was about 820 miles northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and 905 miles east-southeast of Bermuda as of the NHC's 5 p.m. EDT update. The storm was traveling west at 8 mph and had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph.

"Swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda [Friday] and will reach portions of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend," the center said. "These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions."

There are currently no coastal watches or warnings in effect. Earlier this week, Florence became the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.

It's not yet clear whether Florence will threaten the United States, although forecast tracks show it could make landfall along the Carolinas.

"It is still too early to determine impacts (if any) to the Eastern Seaboard." the National Weather Service said Thursday. "While significant uncertainty remains in the eventual track of Hurricane Florence, we know that the swell from the storm will begin to impact area beaches this weekend."

The NHC encouraged residents along the east coast to review their hurricane plans.

East of Florence, two systems off the African coast are organizing and could follow across the Atlantic and threaten the United States. Peak hurricane season is from mid-August to mid-October, with a peak date for the season, on average, of Sept. 10. It is the same date that Hurricane Irma struck Florida in 2017.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Florence projected to strengthen to major hurricane
Florence projected to strengthen to major hurricane
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U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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