ATLANTA (AP) — The latest information on Hurricanes Florence and Isaac (all times local):
The current forecast for Hurricane Florence means the North Carolina coast could face a storm of unprecedented strength.
North Carolina has only been hit by one Category 4 hurricane since reliable records have been kept more than 150 years ago. Hurricane Hazel came ashore at the South Carolina-North Carolina state line with winds of 130 mph (209 kph) in 1954.
The state has only been hit by about a dozen Category 3 storms since 1850. The last was Hurricane Fran in 1996, which came ashore near Wilmington. South Carolina has been hit by three Category 4 storms: Hazel; Gracie, in 1959; and Hugo, in 1989.
Forecasters said Monday the storm to come ashore by late Thursday or early Friday. Some computer models show the storm making landfall near Wilmington, south of the Outer Banks. But it was still too early to predict an exact path for the storm.
Some computer models predicted Wilmington area south of the Outer Banks, but it was still too early to predict an exact path for the storm.
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.
Experts have warned for years of the danger hurricanes pose to a region stretching from Virginia Beach at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay to Charleston, South Carolina, where the land is sinking and the ocean is rising at some of the highest rates on the East Coast.
The Center for Sea Level Rise at Old Dominion University in Virginia says cities built on low coastal planes and former creek beds are particularly vulnerable.
Hurricane Florence appears to be taking aim at the largest U.S. Marine Corps base on the East Coast.
Camp Lejeune has an extensive beachfront about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and its well within the National Hurricane Center’s forecast “cone.”
The hurricane’s path was still far from certain Monday. The rapidly intensifying storm could strike a direct and dangerous blow anywhere from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic region later this week, possibly as a fearsome category 4.
If the center of the hurricane does come ashore in the Wilmington area, some of the strongest winds and rain could strike the sprawling Marine base since much of the worst weather will be in the northeast quadrant of the storm.
Camp Lejeune says in a statement that it’s urging personnel to prepare now, and will open shelters on the base if necessary.
The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Florence is rapidly strengthening and that swells generated by the storm are affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East Coast.
The Miami-based center said in its 5 a.m. ET advisory that Florence was about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, moving west northwest at 9 mph (15 kmh). An increase in forward speed is expected over the next couple of days.
Its maximum sustained winds are at 105 mph (165 kmh). Drawing energy from the warm water, the now Category 2 storm could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130 mph (209 kph) or more by Tuesday. Florence is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.
Hurricane Isaac is holding steady in strength over the Atlantic.
Forecasters say that storm was about 1230 miles (1985 kilometers) east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kmh). The storm was moving west at 13 mph (20 kmh).
The National Hurricane Center says Isaac has become the fifth hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.
The Miami-based center said late Sunday that Isaac was about 1305 miles (2100 kilometers) east of the Windward Islands with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph (120 kmh). The storm was moving west at 14 mph (22 kmh) and expected to accelerate over the next 36 hours.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 10 miles (20kilometers) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 kilometers).
A westward motion is forecast to continue through the end of the week, with Isaac expected to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea Wednesday night or Thursday. Weakening is forecast to begin by the middle of the week.
Rapidly intensifying Hurricane Florence could strike a direct and dangerous blow anywhere from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic region later this week.
Florence crossed the 74 mph threshold from tropical storm to a hurricane Sunday morning, and by evening its winds were up to 85 mph (140 kph) as the National Hurricane Center warned a hurricane hunter plane found the storm strengthening quickly.
As of 11 p.m. EDT, Florence was centered about 685 miles (1,100 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda, moving west at 7 mph (11 kmh). Its maximum sustained winds are at 90 mph (150 kmh). Drawing energy from the warm water, it could be a fearsome Category 4 with winds of 130 mph (209 kph) or more by Tuesday