Hurricane Florence remains far out in the Atlantic, but Bermuda — and perhaps the Eastern Seaboard — remain on alert as various models show it could begin to impact those areas by next week.
The biggest question in the next few days: Will the storm take its previously projected turn to the north, or — as some of the latest models suggest — will it stay on more of a westerly path that could target areas along the mid-Atlantic, including North Carolina?
Wind shear has helped weaken Florence into a Category 2 storm with 105 mph winds as off 11 a.m., and it was about 1,115 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.
The track still remains in flux, though, as it currently continues on a northwesterly path at 12 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Hurricane center forecasters say it will slow down before turning toward the west by the weekend, and could produce swells and high surf in Bermuda by Friday and parts of the East Coast over the weekend.
Meteorologists and weather watchers are keeping a close eye on the path, and the changing models that have Florence shifting to the west.
Keeping a close eye on #Florence...— K.C. Sherman (@KCShermanWx) September 6, 2018
While there is POTENTIAL for landfall along the East Coast sometime late next week, we are still 5+ days out. There continues to be plenty of variability with model tracks with dozens of more model runs to come b/t now and next week. pic.twitter.com/A78HEHMxl4
LATEST ON CAT.3 #FLORENCE: After many days, wind shear & dry air is beginning to infiltrate the hurricane, especially from the SW side, where the core looks to be "thinning out". But, it is heading into very warm waters, and will move NW until a major fork Monday...OTS or west. pic.twitter.com/ZarDN0NeC7— AllanWeather | New York (@AWxNYC) September 6, 2018
11pm advisory from NHC downgrades #Florence to a Cat 3. There is, however, a key note in their discussion. NHC now suggesting the N Atl trough (noted earlier as a key "inflection point") will miss her, allowing the storm to continue westward. Track adjusted left as well. #tropics pic.twitter.com/omFH08Dz7K— John Homenuk (@jhomenuk) September 6, 2018
You can see the shear really making #Florence very asymmetrical this morning (weaker). It's racing to get to the warmer water too. Not knowing the final outcome of this shear creates even more uncertainty as to where it may go down the road.— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) September 6, 2018
= low confidence forecast. pic.twitter.com/n0LvNZCgZZ
While the immediate attention is on Florence, forecasters continue to monitor two other tropical waves that could develop into the next tropical systems — which could be named Helene and Isaac.
Conditions are favorable for the first, approaching the Cabo Verde Islands, to become Helene. It has a 70 percent chance of development by this weekend. The second has yet to move off Africa’s west coast, but still has a 50 percent chance of development in the next five days, forecasters said.
Gordon, meanwhile, has weakened into a tropical depression over Mississippi but will be a heavy rainmaker as it continues on a path to the north, eventually reaching the Great Lakes, forecasters said.