TRIPLE THREAT: Three Hurricanes Churn In The Atlantic

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

After months of quiet, hurricane season is heating up as three hurricanes churn in the Atlantic Ocean for the eleventh time on record.

Hurricanes Florence, Helene and Isaac are gaining steam and moving across the ocean. At least two of those storms, Florence and Isaac, threaten land. The situation mirrors the 2017 hurricane season, according to meteorologist Philip Klotzbach.

However, Klotzbach also pointed there’s a chance that five tropical cyclones (TCs) could simultaneously churn in the Atlantic this week. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is tracking two other tropical disturbances in the Atlantic.

Isaac is forecast to stay at hurricane strength and then weaken to a tropical storm after running over islands in the Lesser Antilles, including Martinique and Dominica, according to the NHC. Isaac will pass over the islands sometime Thursday, forecasts show.

Florence is expected to become a major hurricane in the Atlantic very soon. Florence is threatening to make landfall somewhere in the Carolinas on Thursday, but the exact location is still uncertain.

Governors in three states — North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia — have declared states of emergency in preparation for Florence’s landfall. Florence is forecast to make landfall as a major hurricane, including up to a Category 4 or 5 on the Saffir-Simpson scale. (RELATED: Virginia Becomes Third State To Issue An Emergency Declaration Ahead Of Hurricane Florence)

Meteorologist Ryan Maue pointed out that ocean temperatures are warm enough to feed a Category 5 storm and that wind shear, which can break up storms, “will be negligible.”

Regardless of what strength Florence reaches, weather experts and state officials are warning residents to prepare for massive storm surge, high winds and heavy rains. Officials are urging residents to have safety plans in place.

“A hurricane is coming our way. Pretend, assume, presume that a major hurricane is going to hit South Carolina. Be prepared. Be ready,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said.

“Whatever happens, we’re going to have a lot of rain and a lot of wind, even if the hurricane goes farther north,” McMaster said.

Hurricane Helene is forecast to swing north, avoiding land and weaken to a tropical storm by Friday.

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