Florence could cause dangerous surf and rip currents along East Coast

MIAMI — Florence could cause dangerous surf and rip currents along parts of the U.S. East Coast this weekend as the storm swirls across the Atlantic, according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center. While Florence is now a tropical storm, it was expected to regain hurricane strength as it neared Bermuda. 

Forecasters said it was too soon to tell where the storm would go because there was still “very large uncertainty” in Florence’s long-term track. 

“Regardless of Florence’s eventual track, large swells will begin to affect Bermuda later today and portions of the U.S. East Coast this weekend, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents,” the National Hurricane Center said Friday morning in an advisory. 

Improving atmospheric conditions were expected to allow Florence to regain its former strength. The storm reached major hurricane status Wednesday, peaking with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.

Here are the 11 AM AST Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Florence. High surf will begin to affect the U.S. East Coast this weekend. The risk of other direct impacts has increased, but it is too early to know the specifics of these impacts. https://t.co/xK9IcN4PqV pic.twitter.com/PwLwbN14s6

Meanwhile, two low pressure systems off the coast of Africa behind Florence also had high chances of developing into tropical storms, forecasters said.

“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.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence’s maximum sustained winds Friday morning were estimated to be 65 mph. The storm was centered about 935 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 8 mph.

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