Tropical Storm Helene moves toward western coast of Africa

Tropical Storm Helene moves toward western coast of Africa

"It's now being reported as just a tropical storm, but a strong one at that, and is expected to strengthen as it continues to work its way across the Atlantic over the weekend".

"While it's still too early to know the storm's path, we know we have to be prepared", Cooper said in a new release.

The strengthening of Florence is due to a few different factors.

Swells generated by Florence could cause unsafe rip currents and coastal flooding Saturday in areas including coastal DE and New Jersey, the National Weather Service said.

Improving atmospheric conditions are expected to allow Florence to regain its former strength - the storm reached major hurricane status Wednesday, believed to be a Category Four hurricane, peaking with maximum sustained winds of 210km/h.

As we get into the heart of this year's hurricane season, all eyes are on the Atlantic where things are starting to heat up. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Friday night that Helene was located about 405 miles east of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

There are dozens of different models and versions of forecast tracks that meteorologists have among their forecasting tools, and a majority still show the center of Florence staying offshore - but most track it close enough to cause some impact next week.

To activate the transportation waiver, Gov. Cooper also signed Executive Order No. 51, declaring a State of Emergency for the State of North Carolina on Friday.

"The risk of other direct impacts associated with Florence along the U.S. East Coast next week has increased", the Center stated in its key messages. Forecast models have been inconsistent in determining the future path of Florence, but it's growing more likely to bring significant impacts to the east coast by mid to late next week.

Tropical-storm warnings have been issued for the southern Cabo Verde Islands. After passing those islands, it is expected to turn out to sea. The storm is expected to approach the southeast U.S. Coast on Thursday.

Tropical Depression Nine formed 1755 miles east of the Windward Islands Friday.

The European and American models have shifted westward, consistently showing a menacing hurricane coming dangerously close to the Eastern Seaboard. The forecast track has the storm strengthening to a hurricane next week as is tracks west.

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