Florence was downgraded late Thursday night into a tropical storm but all indications are saying that the storm has stopped weakening. As of Friday night, Florence has winds of 65 mph drifting 5 to 10 mph to west and located some 900 miles to the east-southeast of Bermuda.
The storm is still undergoing some wind shear, however, it is maintaining its form. Through the course of the weekend, the wind shear should diminish and the storm will head into warmer waters allowing for the storm to return back to hurricane status.
The current forecast track keeps Florence drifting west before taking a slight curve to the west-northwest early on Sunday. The storm will then begin to increase its forward motion while at the same time intensifying back into a hurricane.
The good news is that Bermuda looks to be in the clear in terms of direct impacts from Florence as the storm passes to the south late on Monday. The bad news is that the storm will continue strengthen to a major Category 3 or 4 hurricane with winds of 120 to 130 mph and the likelihood of a US landfalling hurricane increases.
Still, this storm could take a sharp curve to the north and head out sea, we have to acknowledge that this storm may directly hit the east coast. The question of where Florence would make landfall and how strong the cyclone would be is too soon to be determined.
Over the course of the past few days, social media posts showed snapshots of forecast models showing doom and gloom forecasts of showing Florence making landfall at one spot or another. The issue that forecasts with a storm beyond the 5 days are very unreliable and is no better than throwing darts onto a board.
What is known is that essentially everyone from Georgia to New England, including New York will have to monitor Florence through the weekend. The National Hurricane Center also recommends to go over their hurricane plans should they need to use them next week.
Right now, swells associated by Florence are battering Bermuda and the rough surf will reach the east coast during the weekend. Expect beach erosion and dangerous rip currents to hit the Jersey Shore and Long Island by Sunday and will continue through next week.
Further down the road, should Florence make landfall, we will have the potential of heavy rain and gusty winds at some point during the latter half of next week and into following weekend. Again, it is too soon to get the exact details and impacts, however it is just possibility at this time.
PIX11’s Andrew Cruz contributed to this report.