12:15 p.m. update: Hurricane Florence now a Cat 4 monster

12:15 p.m. update: Hurricane Florence now a Cat 4 monster

12:15 p.m. update: Hurricane Florence now a Cat 4 monster

And International Space Station astronaut Ricky Arnold has also posted several pics to social media, showing an ominous mass of swirling clouds.

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster ordered an evacuation of his state's entire coast and predicted as many as one million people would leave their homes.

The storm weakened slightly and has 130 miles per hour winds, but it is still a major Category 4 hurricane, according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed declarations of emergency for North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, freeing up federal resources for storm response. It is projected to make landfall between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina Thursday evening as a Category 4 Major Hurricane.

Hurricane Florence has the potential to bring catastrophic flooding to areas of the eastern U.S. already soaked by heavy rain.

Hurricane Florence will create a "life-threatening storm surge" along parts of the Carolina and Virginia coasts, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The massive storm is threatening the East Coast of the United States with an expected landfall late Thursday.

National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham warned that Florence was forecast to linger over the Carolinas once it reaches shore.

NASA also released an intriguing infrared look from its Aqua satellite on Tuesday, showing Hurricane Florence likely going through a process called "eyewall replacement". This includes cities in the path of Florence such as Wilmington and Cape Hatteras in North Carolina and Norfolk, Virginia. "The simplest answer is go to higher ground and inland", he said.

Hurricane to tropical-storm-force winds could extend inland depending on the storm's exact track.

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Major airlines that serve the mid-Atlantic region are offering change-fee waivers and flexible rebooking in areas expected to be in the path of Florence.

The worst of the storm is expected to hit the USA in the early hours of Friday, with swells as high as 12ft forecast.

The storm was moving toward the west-northwest at about 9 miles per hour and was about 625 miles (1,005 kilometers) southeast of Bermuda.

The storm is expected to threaten the Carolinas and Virginia.

"If you are now under an evacuation order, we strongly urge you to be cognizant, heed the warning and evacuate", Byard said.

Millions of Americans are bracing for Hurricane Florence as the Category 4 storm barrels toward the East Coast.

"Isaac is anticipated to move near or over the central Lesser Antilles on Thursday, move into the eastern Caribbean Sea Thursday night, and move into the central Caribbean Sea by the weekend", NHC officials said in an advisory issued today at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) began sending out coastal advisories for Hurricane Florence at 8 a.m. on September 11.

"But central Mass. over towards the Berkshires could get some rain", Simpson said.

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