After Florence makes landfall, that ridge, now over Washington and NY, will move east - but be replaced by another one forming over the Great Lakes that will likely keep the storm stuck, McNoldy said.
The National Hurricane Center said Florence was at Category 4 strength and will produce extremely unsafe conditions for land in its path.
Florence is so wide that a life-threatening storm surge was being pushed 480km ahead of its eye, and so wet that a swath of states from SC to OH and Pennsylvania could get deluged. "It's going to destroy homes", said Jeff Byard, an official at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation ahead of Hurricane Florence for all coastal counties in SC on Monday, including Beaufort, Colleton, and Jasper counties. Water temperatures are running in the middle 80s and very little wind to tear it apart.
First Advisories Sent for Hurricane Florence in South and North Carolina, Virginia
Officials in both North and SC are urging citizens to evacuate inland, especially those living in low-lying or coastal areas. It is expected to strengthen and possibly become a Category 5 storm Tuesday before closing in on North or SC on Thursday.
Forecasters say Olivia - with current wind speeds of 65 miles per hour - will make landfall on Wednesday morning.
"While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through landfall", forecasters said.
It's a scene that's playing out all along the eastern seaboard as Hurricane Florence continues to churn towards the coast.
Florence, a Category 1 hurricane, continued to strengthen in the central Atlantic and was expected to become a major hurricane by Monday night, the US National Hurricane Center said in its advisory on Sunday. At more than 470 miles across, Florence is 56% wider than the typical Atlantic hurricane.
"This one really scares me", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.
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By way of comparison, the maximum intensity of Hurricane Maria, the storm system which path of destruction left nearly 3,000 people dead in Puerto Rico, was 277.8 km/h, (150 knots), the NHC said. Since then, thousands of people have moved to the coast.
Greg Cook carries belongings to a van as he evacuates days before the arrival of Hurricane "Florence" at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, on September 11, 2018. "All you have to do is look up at your ceiling, and think about 12 feet (of water)".
Evacuation orders have also been issued.
"The largest threat to life from hurricanes is not the high winds".
Nuclear power plants in the area were preparing for the storm, with Duke Energy Corp's Brunswick and Harris plants in North Carolina's were most likely to be affected, said U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Roger Hannah.
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