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WTOC Weather Center: Florence strengthens to Category 4 hurricane

Published: Sep. 10, 2018 at 9:12 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2018 at 12:32 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Hurricane Florence continues to strengthen.

Florence was upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of 115 MPH, in the 11 a.m. Advisory Forecast. Upon further reconnaissance, Florence was found to have sustained winds of 130 MPH and was upgraded to a Category 4 shortly after the official advisory was issued.

Florence is forecast to continue strengthening - becoming a dangerous Category 4 by Monday night or early Tuesday. Sustained winds are forecast to peak Tuesday near 150 MPH, just shy of Category 5 status at 157 MPH, into Wednesday. Florence is then forecast to weaken, slightly, just prior to landfall.

The forecast track remains largely unchanged, with a likely-landfall forecast to occur between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina Thursday evening as a Category 4 Major Hurricane.

On this track, local effects would be minimal. The Lowcountry and Coastal Empire would have breezy, offshore winds, mostly dry conditions and only subtle water level rises – if any.

But, I stress, uncertainty remains high and subtle changes to the track can mean significant local forecast changes.

We'll continue to, gradually, gain confidence in the local forecast through the day Monday and Tuesday.

If you have loved ones in the Pee Dee of South Carolina or North Carolina, please make sure they are aware of the impending threat. This is a historic storm and has the potential to produce devastation, even well inland.

Stay tuned for further updates on Hurricane Florence on TV, WTOC Weather App and at the Hurricane Center at wtoc.com.

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