The Miami-based center said in its 5 a.m. ET advisory that Florence was moving west northwest at 9 miles per hour.
Florence is still a tropical storm, but is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday, and a major hurricane again on Monday.
A motion toward the west-northwest and northwest is expected through early Thursday, according to National Hurricane Center officials.
So, for US interests, anywhere from the Carolinas to New England, will have to pay attention to Florence.
The order is created to mobilize resources to prepare for the storm, to help Virginia mitigate any damage and to streamline how the state provides assistance to other neighboring states vulnerable to Florence, according to the release. There is a possibility of significant intensification in the early part of next week. The minimum central pressure is 997 mb.
Florence is expected to be a major, unsafe hurricane that will be near the East Coast later next week.
Hurricane Florence is aiming for a region of the U.S. East Coast that is especially vulnerable to storm surge and flooding from heavy rains.
Up and down the densely populated coast, residents have been told to prepare, and not just for a possible direct blow.
Swells generated by Florence could cause risky rip currents and coastal flooding today in some areas including coastal DE and New Jersey, according to the National Weather Service.
Elsewhere in the tropics, officials say Tropical Storm Helene is approaching islands off the western coast of Africa.
Helene is moving toward the west-northwest near 13 miles per hour (22 km/h).
Tropical Storm Helene became Hurricane Helene on Sunday afternoon, as well. Locally, up to 8 inches of rain is expected in the Cabo Verde Islands.
The center also said that Hurricane Isaac, much farther out to sea, has become the 5th named hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.
Tropical Storm Isaac, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 km/hr) on Sunday, was about 1,500 miles east of the Windward Islands, forecasters said.
The low pressure area that has formed into Depression Nine has moved very little during the past several hours.
Finally, a Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Virginia; and Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort. The forecast track has the storm strengthening to a hurricane next week as is tracks west.
The Pacific Ocean is also lively this weekend. Winds higher up in Florence have been weakening, giving it time to gather itself and gain strength over the ocean, experts say.
A westward motion with a slight increase in forward speed is expected through the end of the week. Some computer models show the storm making landfall near Wilmington, south of the Outer Banks.
Each day brings a clearer picture of the risks posed by the storms.