Hurricane Warnings Issued for Carolinas for Hurricane Florence

Hurricane Warnings were issued for the Carolinas on Tuesday for the potential impacts of Hurricane Florence.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 28.4°N and longitude 68.7°W which put it about 670 miles (1075 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the west-northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (220 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (270 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 946 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from Edisto Beach to South Santee River, South Carolina and from Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for the portions of the coast from Duck, North Carolina to Cape Charles Light, Virginia and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

Hurricane Florence completed an eyewall replacement cycle and it continues to be a powerful hurricane.  There was a circular eye with a diameter of 30 miles (48 km) at the center of Florence.  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  The eyewall replacement cycle resulted in a larger circulation.

Winds to hurricane force extended out about 60 miles (95 km) from the center of circulation of Hurricane Florence.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 175 miles (280 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Florence was 28.2.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 18.9 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 47.1.  Hurricane Florence is capable of causing extensive significant damage.

Hurricane Florence will move through an environment favorable for strong hurricanes during the next 24 to 36 hours.  Florence will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  it will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Florence is likely to maintain its intensity and it could strengthen.  If another eyewall replacement cycle occurs, then there could be fluctuations in intensity.

Hurricane Florence will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Florence toward the west-northwest during the next 24 to 36 hours.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Florence could approach the coast of the Carolinas later on Thursday.  The steering winds are forecast to weaken when Florence nears the coast and there is great uncertainty about the track when that occurs.  Hurricane Florence will bring strong winds to coastal North Carolina and eastern South Carolina.  Wind pushing water toward the shore will cause a significant storm surge.  A slow forward speed will mean that Hurricane Florence will drop a lot of rain and there is a risk of significant flooding of rivers and streams.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Isaac was speeding toward the Lesser Antilles and Hurricane Helene was weakening far south of the Azores.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude 14.5°N and longitude 52.3°W which put it about 580 miles (935 km) east of Martinique.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Dominica, Martinique and Guadeloupe.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Saba and St. Eustatius.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Helene was located at latitude 18.0°N and longitude 35.4°W which put it about 1479 miles (2370 km) south-southwest of the Azores.  Helene was moving toward the northwest at 10 m.p.h. (16 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 120 m.p.h. (195 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 973 mb.

Tropical Storm Olivia Nears Hawaii

Tropical Storm Olivia moved closer to Hawaii on Tuesday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Olivia was located at latitude 21.6°N and longitude 152.3°W which put it about 275 miles (440 km) east of Kahului, Hawaii.  Olivia was moving toward the west at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Oahu, Hawaii County, Maui County including Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Kahoolawe, and for Kauai County including Kauai and Niihau.

Tropical Storm Olivia was weakening as it neared Hawaii.  An upper level trough north of Hawaii was producing strong westerly winds which were blowing across the top of the circulation.  Those winds caused significant vertical wind shear and they blew the tops off thunderstorms near the center of circulations.  Bands near the center and in the western half of Tropical Storm Olivia consisted primarily of showers and lower clouds.  There were still a few taller thunderstorms in bands on the far eastern side of the circulation.

Since Tropical Storm Olivia consisted mostly of a circulation in the lower levels of the atmosphere, it was being steered by the winds in the lower levels.  Olivia was moving south of the subtropical high over the central Pacific Ocean.  That high steered Tropical Storm Olivia quickly to the west on Tuesday and it will continue to do so.  On its anticipated track Tropical Storm Olivia will reach Hawaii on Wednesday.  Olivia will bring some gusty winds and it could drop locally heavy rain, especially where the wind rises over hills and mountains.

Hurricane Florence Causes Watches for Carolinas, Isaac for the Lesser Antilles

The potential impacts of Hurricane Florence caused Hurricane Watches to be issued for the Carolinas on Tuesday morning while the approach of Tropical Storm Isaac also caused Watches to be issued for some of the Lesser Antilles.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 26.7°N and longitude 65.3°W which put it about 905 miles (1455 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the west-northwest at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 155 m.p.h. (250 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 950 mb.  A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.

Hurricane Florence was nearing the end of an eyewall replacement cycle on Tuesday morning.  A thin ring of showers and thunderstorms around the center of circulation was all that was left of the original eyewall.  A larger ring of thunderstorms surrounded an eye with a diameter of 36 miles (58 km).  Several other bands of showers and thunderstorms surround the new, larger eyewall.  Storms near the core of Hurricane Florence generated strong upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the hurricane.

The eyewall replacement cycle temporarily weakened Hurricane Florence, but it also made the circulation larger.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 150 miles (240 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Florence was 25.1.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 15.3 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 40.4.

Hurricane Florence will be moving through an environment favorable for strong hurricanes.  Florence will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Florence is likely to strengthen during the next 24 hours, but additional eyewall replacement cycles could cause the intensity to fluctuate.

Hurricane Florence will move around the western end of the subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Florence in a general west-northwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Florence could approach the coast of North Carolina and South Carolina on Thursday.  It will very likely be a major hurricane at that time.

Tropical Storm Isaac moved steadily toward the Lesser Antilles and Watches were issued for some of those islands.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude 14.6°N and longitude 49.7°W which put it about 775 miles (1250 km) east of the Lesser Antilles.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 996 mb.  Hurricane Watches were in effect for Guadeloupe, Martinique and Dominica.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Antigua and Montserrat.

Elsewhere over the tropical Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Helene moved far south of the Azores.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Hurricane Helene was located at latitude 16.5°N and longitude 34.3°W which put it about 1550 miles (2495 km) south-southwest of the Azores.  Helene was moving toward the northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 966 mb.

Typhoon Mangkhut Strengthens Into Equivalent of Cat. 5 Hurricane

Typhoon Mangkhut strengthened into the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale on Tuesday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located at latitude 13.7°N and longitude 138.0°E which put it about 290 miles (470 km) north of Yap.  Mangkhut was moving toward the west at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 160 m.p.h. (260 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 190 m.p.h. (305 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 915 mb.

Typhoon Mangkhut is strong and well organized.  It has a symmetrical circulation with a circular eye at the center.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surround the eye and the strongest winds are occurring in the ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Mangkhut.  Storms near the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping large quantities of mass away from the typhoon in all directions.

Typhoon Mangkhut has a large circulation.  Winds to typhoon force extend out about 65 miles (105 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 210 miles (375 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Mangkhut is 35.0.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 22.1 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 57.1.  Typhoon Mangkhut is capable of causing extensive catastrophic damage.

Typhoon Mangkhut will be moving through an environment very favorable for powerful typhoons.  Mangkhut will be moving over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through an area were the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Typhoon Mangkhut could maintain its intensity for several more days unless eyewall replacement cycles cause fluctuations in the wind speed.

Typhoon Mangkhut is moving south a ridge of high pressure over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Mangkhut in a general west-northwesterly direction during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Mangkhut could approach northern Luzon in about three days.  Mangkhut could be near Hong Kong in about five days.

Elsewhere over the Western North Pacific Ocean, Tropical Storm Barijat was moving southeast of Hong Kong.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Tuesday the center of Tropical Storm Barijat was located at latitude 20.5°N and longitude 116.5°E which put it about 215 miles (345 km) southeast of Hong Kong.  Barijat was moving toward the west-southwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1000 mb.

Florence Strengthens Into a Major Hurricane

Hurricane Florence strengthened into a Major Hurricane on Monday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 25.9°N and longitude 62.4°W which put it about 1085 miles (1745 km) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the west-northwest at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (220 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (270 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 944 mb.

Hurricane Florence intensified rapidly on Monday morning and early afternoon.  An eye with a diameter of 18 miles (29 km) formed at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Florence.  Storms near the core were generating strong upper level divergence which pumped mass away from the hurricane.

Hurricane Florence increased in size on Monday.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 150 miles (240 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Florence was 28.2.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 14.0 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 42.2.  Hurricane Florence was capable of causing extensive significant damage.

Microwave satellite imagery indicated that an inner rainband may have wrapped around the original eye and eyewall.  An eyewall replacement cycle may have begun and that may have halted the rapid intensification of Hurricane Florence.  Florence could weaken during the next few hours while the inner eyewall weakens.  Hurricane Florence will move through an area capable of supporting strong hurricanes on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Florence will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through an area where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  If the inner eyewall dissipates during the next day or so, then Hurricane Florence could strengthen again.

Hurricane Florence will move around the western end of the subtropical high pressure system during the next several days.  The high will steer Florence toward the west-northwest.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Florence will approach the coast of North Carolina on Thursday afternoon.  The winds steering Florence could weaken as it approaches the coast and the track forecast becomes much more uncertain at that time.

Elsewhere, Hurricane Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac were spinning over the tropical Atlantic Ocean.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Hurricane Helene was located at latitude 15.5°N and longitude 32.4°W which put it about 1590 miles (2555 km) south of the Azores.  Helen was moving toward the west-northwest at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 968 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude 14.5°N and longitude 46.9°W which put it about 960 miles (1550 km) east of the Lesser Antilles.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.

Typhoon Mangkhut Strengthens to Equivalent of a Major Hurricane

Typhoon Mangkhut strengthened into the equivalent of a major hurricane as it moved west of Guam on Monday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Monday the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located at latitude 14.0°N and longitude 140.6°E which put it about 230 miles (375 km) west of Guam.  Mangkhut was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 140 m.p.h. (225 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 165 m.p.h. (270 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 939 mb.  Typhoon Mangkhut was the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

Typhoon Mangkhut intensified rapidly on Monday.  A circular eye was at the center of circulation.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Mangkhut.  Storms around the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon.

Winds to typhoon force extended out about 50 miles (80 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 210 miles (335 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Mangkhut was 28.2.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 18.9 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 47.1.

Typhoon Mangkhut will move through an environment capable of supporting very strong typhoons during the next two or three days.  Mangkhut will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Typhoon Mangkhut is likely to remain very strong for the next few days.  Eyewall replacement cycles could cause fluctuations in intensity.

Typhoon Mangkhut will move south of a ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge will steer Mangkhut to the west during the next day or two.  Typhoon Mangkhut will move more toward the west-northwest later this week.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Mangkhut could be near northern Luzon in about four days.

Typhoon Mangkhut Brings Wind and Rain to the Marianas

Typhoon Mangkhut brought wind and rain to the Marianas on Sunday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located at latitude 14.4°N and longitude 146.6°E which put it about 175 miles (285 km) east-northeast of Guam.  Mangkhut was moving toward the west at 19 m.p.h. (31 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 955 mb.  Typhoon Warnings were in effect for Saipan, Tinian, Rota and Guam.  The airport on Saipan was reporting sustained winds of 41 m.p.h. (66 km/h) and wind gusts to 61 m.p.h. (98 km/h).

Typhoon Mangkhut had a well organized circulation.  There was a circular eye at the center of Mangkhut.  A ring of strong thunderstorms surrounded the eye and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Typhoon Mangkhut.  Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon.

Winds to typhoon force extended out about 40 miles (65 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 150 miles (240 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Mangkhut was 13.9.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 13.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index was 27.4.  Typhoon Mangkhut was capable of causing regional significant damage.

Typhoon Mangkhut will move through an environment favorable for intensification.  Mangkhut will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  An upper level ridge north of Mangkhut will cause easterly winds which will blow toward the top of the circulation.  Those winds will cause some vertical wind shear, but the shear will not be strong enough to prevent intensification.  Typhoon Mangkhut could intensify into the equivalent of a major hurricane later this week.

The ridge north of Typhoon Mangkhut will steer the typhoon in a westerly direction.  The core of Typhoon Mangkhut will move over the Marianas during the next few hours.  It will bring strong winds and it will drop locally heavy rain.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Mangkhut could be east of Luzon later this week.

Hurricane Olivia Causes Tropical Storm Watches for Hawaii

The potential impacts of Hurricane Olivia caused the issuance of Tropical Storm Watches for Hawaii on Sunday night.  Tropical Storm Watches were issued for Oahu, Maui County including Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Kahoolawe, and Hawaii County.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Olivia was located at latitude 21.4°N and longitude 146.1°W which put it about 595 miles (960 km) east-northeast of Hilo, Hawaii.  Olivia was moving toward the west at 12 m.p.h. (19 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 988 mb.

Hurricane Olivia maintained its intensity and structure on Sunday.  A circular eye persisted at the center of circulation and a ring of thunderstorms surrounded the eye.  The strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Olivia.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 25 miles (40 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 125 miles (200 km) from the center.

Hurricane Olivia will move through a less favorable environment during the next several days.  Olivia will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 26°C.  So, there will be enough energy in the upper ocean to support a hurricane.  However, an upper level trough north of Hawaii will produce southwesterly winds which will blow toward the top of Hurricane Olivia.  Those winds will cause more vertical wind shear and Hurricane Olivia could weaken to a tropical storm as it approaches Hawaii.

Hurricane Olivia will move south of a subtropical high pressure system over the Central Pacific Ocean.  The high is forecast to strengthen and it will steer Olivia on a west-southwesterly track.  On its anticipated track Olivia could approach Hawaii late on Tuesday.  Olivia will bring gusty winds and it could cause power outages.  Locally heavy rain and the potential for flash floods are greater risks.

Florence Strengthens Back Into a Hurricane

Florence strengthened back into a hurricane on Sunday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 24.4°N and longitude 56.3°W which put it about 750 miles (1210 km) southeast of Bermuda.  Florence was moving toward the west at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 984 mb.

Hurricane Florence was better organized on Sunday morning.  A NOAA research aircraft reported a circular eye with a diameter of 24 miles (39 km).  The eye was surrounded by a ring of strong thunderstorms and the strongest winds were occurring in that ring of storms.  Several bands of showers and thunderstorms were revolving around the core of Hurricane Florence.  Storms near the core were generating upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the hurricane.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 20 miles (35 km) to the east of the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 115 miles (185 km) to the north of the center and about 50 miles (80 km) to the south of the center.

Hurricane Florence will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification.  Florence will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move through a region where the upper level winds are weak and there will be little vertical wind shear.  Hurricane Florence will strengthen and it could intensify rapidly at times.  Florence is likely to be a major hurricane on Monday.

Hurricane Florence will move around the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Florence in a general west-northwesterly direction.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Florence will approach the southeast coast of the U.S. on Thursday.  It is likely to be a major hurricane at that time.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Helene and Tropical Storm Isaac moved westward over the tropical Atlantic Ocean.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Helene was located at latitude 13.2°N and longitude 25.0°W which put it about 120 miles (195 km) south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Helene was moving toward the west at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Santiago, Fogo and Brava.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude 14.3°N and longitude 39.1°W which put it about 1470 miles (2370 km) east of the Windward Islands.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 9 m.p.h. (15 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.

Tropical Storm Florence Reorganizes Southeast of Bermuda

Tropical Storm Florence reorganized southeast of Bermuda on Saturday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located at latitude 24.6°N and longitude 55.2°W which put it about 790 miles (1270 km) southeast of Bermuda.  Florence was moving toward the west at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.

Vertical wind shear decreased around Tropical Storm Florence and the circulation showed evidence of better organization.  Stronger thunderstorms developed near the center of circulation and a primary rainband wrapped about three quarters of the way around the center.  An eye appeared to be forming.  Thunderstorms near the center generated more upper level divergence which pumped away mass and the surface pressure decreased on Saturday.  More thunderstorms also developed in other rainbands that were revolving around the core of the circulation.  Tropical Storm Florence appeared to be on the threshold of regaining hurricane intensity.

Tropical Storm Florence will be moving through an environment favorable for intensification during the next two or three days.  Florence will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  It will move into a region where the upper level winds are weaker and there will be less vertical wind shear.  Tropical Storm Florence will intensify back into a hurricane on Sunday.  It could intensify rapidly once a eye and complete eyewall form.  Florence is likely to become a major hurricane by early next week.

Tropical Storm Florence will move near the western end of a subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Florence in a general west-northwesterly direction during the next few days.  On its anticipated track Florence could approach the southeast coast of the U.S. by Thursday.  It is likely to be a major hurricane at that time.  The steering currents could weaken when Florence approaches the U.S. and it is too early to make a precise forecast of landfall.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storms Helene and Isaac strengthened over the eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Helene was located at latitude 13.2°N and longitude 22.8°W which put it about 155 miles (250 km) southeast of the Cabo Verde Islands.  Helene was moving toward the west at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 75 m.p.h. (120km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 999 mb.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Santiago, Fogo and Brava.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude 14.4°N and longitude 37.5°W which put it about 1580 miles (2540 km) east of the Windward Islands.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.