TROPICS: Florence expected to impact the Carolinas by end of week

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The governor of Maryland has declared a state of emergency in preparation for significant flooding from Hurricane Florence.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) issued a new advisory at 3 p.m. for Tropical Storm Isaac designating St. Kitts and Nevis as "tropical storm watch areas".

Hurricane Isaac is about 1,200 miles east of the Windward Islands.

As Hugo approached the coast, Jacksonville had 21 miles per hour sustained winds, the highest in Florida. As of right now, Helen is expected to take a hard northward turn in the coming days and then sputter in the open Atlantic.

Forecasters urged residents from SC to the mid-Atlantic to get ready - and not just for a direct blow against the coast. "On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas Tuesday and Wednesday, and approach the coast of SC or North Carolina on Thursday".

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Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 105 miles per hour with higher gusts. "Whether it is a tropical storm, a tropical storm watch, or a hurricane watch or a hurricane warning, we must treat all of them the same way".

Isaac, a weakening Category 1 hurricane, is much farther south, and is facing the same winds that threatened to rip Hurricane Florence apart.

Many newcomers have moved to the coast in the almost 19 years since the last strong hurricane - Floyd - threatened the area.

Tropical Storm Helene is in the eastern Atlantic and it is impacting the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands.

Florence was producing large swells expected to reach from the northern Caribbean to the southern coasts of Canada's Maritime provinces. "Flooding is the deadliest result of these storms".

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Helene is a Category 2 storm that's even farther off the coast than both of the other storms, but it's not expected to ever make landfall.

Researchers have noticed correlations between inactive hurricane season years that the strength of tropical cyclones close to the mid-Atlantic being stronger just the way Hurricane Florence is behaving. Combined with high tides, the storm surge could swell as high as 12 feet.

"Today is the day to get prepared all along the East Coast!" the National Weather Service tweeted on Monday morning. While the cone of uncertainty still covers most of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, prediction models of the storm indicate it's headed toward some area between Charleston, S.C. and North Carolina's Outer Banks.

The University of North Carolina at Wilmington, near the shore, canceled its upcoming alumni weekend and all classes starting at noon Monday, encouraging its students to leave campus for a safer location.

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