Scott Bullard, Fayetteville's emergency management coordinator, said he has been in contact, via email, with N.C. Emergency Management and staying abreast of weather-related developments.
Gov. Roy Cooper declared a State of Emergency on Friday evening, urging residents to use the weekend to prepare for the possibility of a natural disaster. Gradual strengthening is forecast and Florence could become a hurricane again over the weekend. Florence is expected to begin a turn toward the west-northwest, but a strong ridge forecast to develop between Bermuda and the northeastern United States could keep Florence on a west-northwestward trajectory.
But increasing wind shear, as Helene drifts further west, should weaken her at the start of the work week.
Projections show a meandering course for a southerly pass through Bermuda waters on Tuesday, but the NHC warned that a variety of models were in play as wind shear jostled the storm. At this point, its exact landfall location is very hard to determine as Florence will eventually make a NW and then north turn. This will accelerate the hurricane toward the middle of the U.S. East Coast.
Although it is quite a distance away, swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda Saturday, and Florida along with most of the East Coast of the US will see increasing waves and rip currents this weekend.
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Two low pressure systems off the coast of Africa behind Florence also had high chances of developing into tropical storms, forecasters said. Helene has winds of 45 mph, and is 330 miles from the Cabo Verde Islands.
As of Friday afternoon, Florence continued to slowly cross the Atlantic Ocean now moving more westerly compared to northwesterly. Helene is within 300 miles from the islands and its tropical storm conditions are expected to begin impacting them Saturday night. Locally, up to 8 inches of rain is expected in the Cabo Verde Islands.
Tropical depression No. 9, soon to be named Tropical Storm Isaac, is looking more organized Saturday morning and will soon reach tropical-storm strength.
As of Saturday morning, Tropical Florence was moving at nine miles per hour with winds of 60 miles per hour. Florence, because of its weaker state, has been moving along toward the west.