MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) -- Hurricane Florence in the western Atlantic strengthened quickly Monday afternoon, regaining major hurricane status with peak winds reaching 140 mph. It is moving west-northwest at 14 mph and its forecast movement takes the hurricane in the general direction of the Carolina coastline later this week. Florence will maintain its major-level strength through this time frame. Devastating wind and storm surge may occur along the North Carolina shoreline, and flooding rain is possible inland in the mid-Atlantic states as the storm is projected to move slowly once over land.
Elsewhere in the tropical Atlantic basin:
- Hurricane Helene in the Cape Verde region is expected to turn sharply to the north over the next few days, remaining in the open ocean waters and losing its strength.
- Hurricane Isaac is about a thousand miles east of the Lesser Antilles, moving west at 14 mph. A drier atmosphere and some faster upper-level winds in the Caribbean are factors considered in a future weakening trend by later this week.
- A third area of moisture in the western Caribbean (identified as "Invest 95L") is being supported by a vigorous upper low just to its west. As the upper winds relax a bit in a few days, the disturbance has a modest chance to develop into a tropical low with very warm western Gulf waters in its path.