Winds in Florence are now at 90 miles per hour, making it a category 1 hurricane.
Florence, as a hurricane, will approach the Southeast coastline overnight Thursday into Friday.
Florence, a Category 1 hurricane, continued to strengthen in the central Atlantic and was expected to become a major hurricane by Monday night, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its latest advisory on Sunday.
Hurricane Isaac is holding steady in strength over the Atlantic. "This is certainly going to make a stronger approach, in terms of wind speeds the way it looks now, than Fran did". "Presume that a major hurricane is going to hit right smack dab in the middle of SC". It poses no threat to land at this time, the center said.
"If it moves quickly, it brings stronger winds", said Gardner. In such winds, downed trees and power outages are common, and well-built homes can suffer heavy damage, the center says.
Its maximum sustained winds are at 105 miles per hour.
North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have declared states of emergency in preparation for the potential impact of Florence.
"We did it a little earlier than we normally would have because so many crops were in the field", Cooper said Sunday in exclusive interview with WRAL News.
Isaac was on a path that could take it to the Leeward or Windward islands, many of which are still struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria. Florence is looking more organized Sunday morning on satellite. Thus, you should stay alert in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia, especially along the coasts.
The first of the gusts could arrive in North Carolina at 8 p.m. Wednesday, the center said.
The storm as of Sunday afternoon was about 400 miles wide, Petro said. "We're ready here in North Carolina, our emergency responders are on the ready and we want residents to be ready as well".
A high-pressure system could cause major slowdown for Florence through the week ahead.
The National Hurricane Center is advising "interests along the U.S. East Coast, particularly from North Florida through North Carolina, should closely monitor the progress of Florence, ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials".
Tropical Storm Florence was upgraded to a hurricane on Sunday morning, and so far the storm is sticking to a path forecasters once considered a worst-case scenario.
Tropical Storm Gordon was named 48 hours later on September 3 while passing through the Florida Keys, making Gordon immediately newsworthy as it impacted Florida and the Gulf Coast before making landfall near the Mississippi-Alabama border late September 4. It appears the storm is mostly likely to make landfall in North or SC by the end of the week, but it could still shift, and states in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast are being warned to brace for potentially historic storm effects.