Hurricane Florence projected path: How to track Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Florence from space

To whip up a monstrous storm like the one chugging for the Carolinas you need a handful of ingredients - and Florence has them all.

Manure lagoons are about as pleasant as they sound-vast open-air ponds of manure located next to the many hog farms near the North Carolina coast. Tropical Storm Olivia is approaching the Hawaiian islands, the Philippines are bracing for the powerful typhoon Mangkhut, and Tropical Storm Isaac is nearing the Leeward Islands. The only exception was Edisto Beach - that and other areas to the north remain under evacuation orders.

"This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast", the National Weather Service spokesperson in Wilmington, North Carolina said Tuesday night, according to ABC News.

A tropical storm watch is in effect for north of the North Carolina/Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, VA, and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

And the storm surge, which could be as much as 12 feet in some areas, will be on top of sea level rise from climate change.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it closed the ports of Wilmington and Moorehead City in North Carolina and restricted port operations in Charleston, South Carolina.

If anyone left out there doubts Florence's sheer capacity to wreak havoc in the coming days, this NOAA satellite image (from former NASA scientist and Professor Marshall Shepherd) should do the convincing.

People in areas vulnerable to a risky hurricane have left or are fleeing ahead of the storm's expected Friday or Saturday landfall.

Florence could strengthen some over open water and then weaken as it nears land, but the difference won't make it any less risky, forecaster Stacy Stewart wrote in a National Hurricane Center discussion.

Florence is predicted to turn more toward the northwest through Thursday - but then is expected to head more west-northwest and stall a bit over the Carolinas. It could be one of the most intense hurricanes to strike the Southeast in at least two decades.

"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the hurricane center says.

Hurricane-force winds now extend up to 80 miles from the eye of the storm, and tropical-storm-force winds now extend up to 195 miles from the center of the storm.

The intensity of the wind and rain we'll see here is dependent on the exact track of the storm.

"North Carolina, my message is clear", a grim Gov. Roy Cooper said at a briefing today.

An additional 25 percent of deaths are related to rain, he said.

"Bad things can happen when you're talking about a storm this size", Trump said Wednesday morning.

Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency invoked a former boxing champion to warn residents that it would bring "a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast". "It's called Mother Nature".

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