Tropical Storm Florence Forecast Narrows, Likely To Hit East Coast Next Week

Effects could be felt as early as this weekend.

NOAA imagery of Tropical Storm Florence
NOAA / Getty Images

Effects could be felt as early as this weekend.

Forecasts for Tropical Storm Florence have narrowed, and it’s not the news residents of Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast were hoping for as the storm seems now more likely to hit the two countries Weather Channel reports.

Currently, the storm sits several hundred miles east-southeast of Bermuda but is traveling on a west north-westerly course, which puts Bermuda in its direct path.

The storm has weakened from what was previously a hurricane, as reported by the Inquisitr, but this weakening seems to be only temporary respite due to wind shear, which interrupted the small core of Florence, and the storm is expected to get more powerful and return to hurricane status early next week.

Authorities stated that the storm is not likely to hit land before Monday, but cautioned that doesn’t mean that there will not be effects felt in both Bermuda and the United States before then, with the waves generated by the storm expected to hit the U.S. East Coast this weekend. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that swells will be felt in the United States and Bermuda along with the north coasts of Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

The wind shear that has weakened the storm will itself weaken and that, coupled with the movement of the storm to warmer waters, is what the Weather Channel says will increase the intensity of the storm early next week.

With the storm still providing an unpredictable pattern one thing has become clear in recent days, that the storm is tracking to the south, which changes the area of the United States that will be in the path of Florence, with Georgia and Florida now potential targets for landfall, both states will certainly feel at least some effects of the storm. If the southern track continues it may avoid making any landfall in Bermuda and only hit the United States, but Bermuda is likely to feel at least some impact.

Any landfall in the United States would happen in the latter half of next week buying some time for those states in the path to prepare for the potential impact of the first major hurricane of the year. The biggest issue facing forecasters is the uncertainty of the path, but a direct hit of the U.S. East Coast is looking increasingly probable.

The NHC gave three possible scenarios, that the hurricane hits the Southeast, that the storm comes close to the east coast and is weakened or that the Florence remains out to sea with little impact to the United States. Unfortunately for residents of the Southeast, a landfall in the United States was rated the most probable.