Florence Shows Signs Of Strengthening, Helene Close Behind?

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Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center remain busy watching three systems in the Atlantic.

Tropical Storm Florence shows signs of strengthening Friday morning. It's expected that the shear that knocked Florence down from category 4 strength to a tropical storm will lessen as it moves west and that the system will reach major hurricane status (category 3 or higher) by early next week.

Those on the U.S. East Coast are watching Florence warily. The National Hurricane Center notes that large swells causing "life-threatening surf and rip currents" will start affecting Bermuda and the East Coast over the weekend.

"The risk of other direct impacts associated with Florence along the U.S. East Coast next week has increased.  However, there is still very large uncertainty in model forecasts of Florence's track beyond day 5, making it too soon to determine the exact location, magnitude, and timing of these impacts," read a Friday morning discussion on Florence from the NHC. "Interests near and along the U.S. East Coast should monitor the progress of Florence through the weekend and ensure they have their hurricane plans in place."

A tropical wave that has emerged off the coast of Africa also appears to be getting its act together quickly and is now considered a potential tropical cyclone.

Forecasters expect it will be a tropical storm sometime on Friday, and tropical storm warnings are posted for the southern Cabo Verde Islands.

Another tropical wave in the Atlantic about 650 miles west of the Cabo Verde Islands is being watched closely. It could become a tropical depression sometime on Friday.

The next names on the 2018 list or Helene and Issac.

For now, these systems are not a threat to the Gulf Coast.

Photos: Getty Images, NOAA/National Hurricane Center

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