Just where the storm will head is still uncertain, but computer models used by the center's specialists to forecast track indicated a US landfall looked increasingly likely.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence's maximum sustained winds Friday evening were estimated to be 65 miles per hour.
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More and more, Florence is looking like a storm that may give the US East Coast problems as a potentially major hurricane next week.
As Florence moves west, the wind shear will decrease, allowing Florence to become more organized and intensify. It is forecast to move due west and is scheduled to reach the Caribbean Islands, possibly including those ravaged past year, on Wednesday or Thursday as well.
With quick strengthening expected, keep it tuned to to the NBC2 First Alert Hurricane Tracking Team for the latest updates on Florence, and all systems in the Atlantic.
It's too early to tell if the storm will make landfall somewhere on the East Coast, or if it will turn harmlessly back to sea. The Miami-based center said Florence is expected to become a hurricane by Sunday.
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A new tropical storm has formed in the eastern Atlantic off the western coast of Africa. Large swells will also begin affecting the US Southeast coast, with larger waves and rough surf as early as this weekend, increasing through next week. Helene has winds of 45 mph, and is 330 miles from the Cabo Verde Islands. Florence, because of its weaker state, has been moving along toward the west.
He said: "Florence has taken quite a hit overnight, It was a Category 4 storm Wednesday night and has dropped down to Category 2 this morning".
Meanwhile, Tropical Depression 9 is expected to become a tropical storm by late Saturday afternoon, at which point it would be named Isaac.
At 8a.m. the center of the system was located near latitude 13.6 north, longitude 20.2 west, or about 290 miles (465 kilometres) east south east of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands, moving towards the west near 13 miles per hour (20 kilometres per hour).
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