Hurricane Florence became the first major storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season Wednesday as it moved on a path that could take it toward Bermuda. With sustained winds of 130 mph, Florence is already a Category 4 hurricane.
The eye of Hurricane Florence is centered about less than 1,300 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and is moving northwest at 13 mph. The storm is expected to continue that movement path through Thursday night, when it's expected to decrease in speed.
"Some weakening is possible during the next few days, but Florence is expected to remain a strong hurricane through early next week," forecasters at the National Hurricane Center in Miami said in the late Wednesday morning advisory.
If Florence continues its current track across the Atlantic, it is likely to hit Bermuda. It should also miss Puerto Rico – located nearly 1,600 miles southwest – who started the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season with 11,000 still without power restored from Hurricane Maria last year. The situation was recently criticized in a federal report.
The National Hurricane Center has not yet issued any coastal watches or warnings as of their 5 p.m. ET advisory. But Florence is expected to generate potentially life-threatening surf swells and rip current conditions that will begin to affect Bermuda by Friday.
In the U.S., Tropical Storm Gordon never became a hurricane but it was still deadly, killing a child by blowing a tree onto a mobile home as it made landfall. The storm later weakened into a depression on Wednesday but remained dangerous, dumping rain, spawning tornadoes and kicking up heavy surf in its wake.
The hurricane center said Gordon was weakening on a path into Arkansas after striking the coast at 70 mph, just shy of hurricane strength, near Pascagoula, Mississippi. The remnants will likely cause flash flooding across parts of seven states and as far north as Iowa in the coming days.