Powerful Hurricane Florence May Menace U.S. East Coast Next Week

(Bloomberg) -- As the remains of Tropical Storm Gordon soak the Mississippi Valley, forecasters are tracking a major hurricane deep in the Atlantic Ocean that could threaten the U.S. East Coast next week.

Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 miles (209 kilometers) per hour, is about 1,300 miles southeast of Bermuda, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Powerful Hurricane Florence May Menace U.S. East Coast Next Week

Last week, forecasters believed it would remain at sea, but models now indicate the storm could menace the U.S. East Coast by the middle of next week. Forecasts that far out can be off by thousands of miles, so it’s unclear whether Florence will be a threat.

“Given the large uncertainty at these time ranges, it is far too soon to speculate what, if any, impacts Florence may have on the U.S. East Coast,’’ the Hurricane Center said in a forecast analysis.

While powerful, Florence remains a relatively small storm, with hurricane-strength winds only reaching out 15 miles from its center. The storm’s strength is apt to fluctuate as it encounters wind shear at sea, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“It needs to be watched,” said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground.

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