'Atmospheric Brick Wall' Steers Hurricane Florence Toward US East Coast

'Atmospheric Brick Wall' Steers Hurricane Florence Toward US East Coast

'Atmospheric Brick Wall' Steers Hurricane Florence Toward US East Coast

The airlines affected by the waivers vary from city to city, but most are now in the path of Florence as meteorologists are tracking the category 4 storm.

In addition, the National Hurricane Center said that it will likely issue watches for "life-threatening storm surge" across three states. The hurricane is registering maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour.

Maps of the storm's trajectory show it is most likely to make landfall between northern SC and North Carolina's Outer Banks on Thursday, making it the most powerful storm to strike the Carolinas in almost three decades. A hurricane watch was in effect for Edisto Beach, South Carolina, to Virginia's southern border, and the first hurricane-force winds arriving late Thursday.

Forecasters cautioned, though, Florence could impact anywhere from northern Florida to north of the Washington, D.C., area.

A satellite image provided by the National Hurricane Center shows Hurricane Florence churning southeast of the Eastern Seaboard early on the morning of September 11, 2018.

As of Tuesday morning, hurricane force winds were extending up to 40 miles from the storm's center and "tropical storm force winds" were showing up as far away as 150 miles, said the National Weather Service. A Category 5 storm has sustained winds of 157 miles per hour or more.

Hurricane Florence is set to make landfall along the North Carolina coast on Thursday as a major category 4 hurricane.

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"We do not want to risk one SC life in this hurricane", Governor Henry McMaster told a news conference.

Oosterwyk was gathering tax documents and other important papers from her store on Monday, and said she planned to drive 240 km inland to ride out the storm in the town of Cary. Once the storm makes landfall, McMaster said, it's expected to move slowly, dumping extreme amounts of rain likely to cause flooding.

A warm ocean is the fuel that powers hurricanes, and Florence will be moving over waters where temperatures are peaking near 85 degrees (30 Celsius), hurricane specialist Eric Blake wrote.

The last time the midsection of the East Coast stared down a hurricane like Florence, it was hurricane Hazel in 1954 when Dwight Eisenhower was in the White House and Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio were newlyweds.

Preparations for Florence were intensifying up and down the densely populated coast.

Delta Air Lines also issued a notice that it was keeping an eye on the storm and would begin issuing waivers when Hurricane Florence's path became clearer.

Just had calls with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam regarding the incoming storm.

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