As hurricane season prepares to hit its peak, Hurricane Florence is looming in the Atlantic Ocean. As of Wednesday, the storm has sustained winds of 130 mph, making it a Category 4 storm.
Florence is the first major hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean this season. The storm is moving northwest currently, and is not expected to make landfall for over a week.
The peak of hurricane season is next week, lasting until November.
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Steve Pfaff, warning coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, said the five-day forecast is pretty clear, but after that there is less certainty. Still, people should pay attention to where the storm is as it continues to move toward the Bermuda Triangle area.
By the weekend, Pfaff said there will be more information about where the storm might make landfall or if it will turn back out to sea. For now, he said, the important thing is to stay informed on the storm’s trajectory as next week approaches.
He said a more immediate concern is what the storm, even miles away from the coast, will do to beach conditions this weekend.
“Swells begin to arrive this weekend, we will probably see a period of strong rip currents,” Pfaff said. “People often equate nice weather with nice ocean conditions, but that is not always the case.”
Horry County asked residents to keep an eye on the storm’s trajectory as it moves closer to the eastern seaboard.
The county has numerous online resources to help residents prepare for a hurricane. These include maps of evacuation routes, checklists of needed items and classes on how to make preparedness plans.