Wednesday, November 14th, 2018 am30 1:41am

Florence strengthens to Category 4 hurricane, SC coast to be evacuated

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The climatological peak of the hurricane season is Sept. 10 — and it shows.

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Three hurricanes are churning in the Atlantic Ocean, with Hurricane Florence, now a Category 2 storm, setting its sights on the Southeast coastline of the U.S.

Florence had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, and was about 1,000 miles away from Bermuda as of 5 a.m. Eastern time. It has picked up speed and is now moving west-northwest at 9 mph.

PHOTO: There are three active hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.ABC News
There are three active hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018.

On this path, Florence will move over very warm Atlantic waters with favorable upper-level winds for rapid intensification.

Florence should be a major Category 3 hurricane later Monday morning, and a Category 4 storm, with winds of 140 mph, by Tuesday.

By Tuesday night, it is projected to be nearly a Category 5 storm with winds near 150 mph.

PHOTO: The track for Hurricane Florence shows it targeting the Carolinas by Thursday.ABC News
The track for Hurricane Florence shows it targeting the Carolinas by Thursday.

Landfall somewhere in the Carolinas will be Thursday evening, possibly as a Category 4 storm.

Besides devastating storm surge and winds, catastrophic flooding is possible from Virginia to the Carolinas.

Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina have all declared states of emergency ahead of the arrival of Florence.

Caribbean threat

Hurricane Isaac had maximum sustained winds of 75 mph at 5 a.m. Monday, and is moving in the direction of the eastern Caribbean.

It is expected to approach the Lesser Antilles, in the eastern Caribbean, during the day Thursday, and possibly pass over Dominica as a weak hurricane or tropical storm.

PHOTO: Hurricane Isaac is a Category 1 storm and moving west toward the Caribbean.ABC News
Hurricane Isaac is a Category 1 storm and moving west toward the Caribbean.

It appears likely to stay south of Puerto Rico, but some rain could spread in that direction. The island is in the cone of uncertainty, so it’s something that will continue to be monitored.

Pacific threat

In the eastern Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Paul and Hurricane Olivia both merit watching. Paul is not expected to make landfall anywhere, but Olivia could threaten Hawaii.

Olivia, now a Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds of 85 mph is forecast to weaken as it heads toward the Hawaiian Islands.

PHOTO: Hurricane Olivia is projected to weaken as it near Hawaii, but a tropical storm watch is in place for Maui and Oahu.ABC News
Hurricane Olivia is projected to weaken as it near Hawaii, but a tropical storm watch is in place for Maui and Oahu.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for Hawaii, Maui and Oahu.

Olivia is forecast to pass over the islands sometime Tuesday night into Wednesday morning local time as a tropical storm.

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