Mr Caterina continued: "Notice it is still looking like it will make an approach on the coast, some of the models have it making landfall in North Carolina, while others have it on a loop, where it pauses for a little bit and then makes its way back out to sea".
Florence became the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season this past Wednesday , reaching Category 4 status with maximum sustained winds peaking at 130 miles per hour. But it is expected to strengthen in force and speed in the coming days, thanks to warm Atlantic waters, a decrease in wind shear, and a high-pressure system arriving from the Midwest, which is expected to steer Florence west. This ridge of high pressure will cause a blocking pattern and steer Florence dangerously close to, or into, the East Coast of the U.S.by midweek. It is forecast to move due west and is scheduled to reach the Caribbean Islands, possibly including those ravaged past year, on Wednesday or Thursday as well.
Wind shear will lessen over the weekend, and Florence should regain major hurricane intensity (Category 3 or greater) by early next week - as the storm moves northwest, getting closer to the U.S. coastline by the day. Portions of the east coast could see rip currents this weekend.
Florence is moving toward the west near 9 miles per hour (14 kilometres) and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple days. Helene will pass close to or perhaps over the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands Saturday night and Sunday. Helene has winds of 45 mph, and is 330 miles from the Cabo Verde Islands. It's likely that Florence will be a rather strong hurricane, and it will begin to angle to the northwest again.
Forecasters said it was too soon to tell where the storm would go. Or, it could make an actual landfall, with more severe impacts at the beaches, and wind & rain farther inland here in the Piedmont. It was more than 1,700 miles from the eastern-most Caribbean islands early Saturday.