Hurricane Florence has been downgraded to a category 2 storm, and while that certainly doesn’t mean that those living in the crosshairs are out of the woods yet, it does come with another added danger. As the hurricane continues to advance, a new warning has surfaced: be prepared for tornadoes.
Hurricane Florence could spark a tornado watch in the coming hours as the storm makes its way to North Carolina. Fox News forecaster Janice Dean warning warm waters off the coast could strengthen Florence before landfall. Hurricane Florence is packing maximum sustained winds of 110 miles per hour as a Category 2 hurricane steadily making its way towards the North Carolina coast.
“We could actually see a tornado watch in this area over the next couple of hours because of these landfalling storms we have the threat for severe weather, including tornadoes,” Dean said. “I expect it to at least maintain strength. It actually could strengthen further as it makes landfall, the water temperature is 85-86 F so that’s enough to strengthen the storm. Actually, when you have a strengthening storm that is making landfall it’s even more dangerous. Heed the warnings, it’s exactly as it was two days ago even though we are down to a [category] 2.”
A webcam on the beach of Kitty Hawk, in the Outer Banks barrier islands of North Carolina, is recording the hours before the arrival of Florence which is expected as early as Thursday night. According to the Express UK, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper warned that “disaster is at the doorstep” and pleaded with residents and tourists alike not to underestimate the threat to life Florence poses.
Speaking to the press on Wednesday, Copper said: “My message is clear: disaster is at the doorstep and is coming in. This may be a marathon, not a sprint. For those not under an evacuation order, finish your preparations today if you haven’t already. Move to safety if your home is at risk. Bring supplies if it’s not. Plan to be without power for days.”
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest 10am BST Florence update: “On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina later today, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina in the hurricane warning area tonight and Friday. A slow motion over eastern South Carolina is forecast Friday night through Saturday night. Maximum sustained winds are near 110 mph (175 km/h) with higher gusts. Little change in strength is expected before the center reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland.”