Astronaut and geophysicist Alexander Gerst called Florence a "nightmare" after glimpsing its eye from the International Space Station this morning, saying in a tweet: "Get prepared on the East Coast, this is a no-kidding nightmare coming for you".
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said the impact of the storm would be widespread, hitting the coast early Friday morning.
"We had already made the reservations, didn't want to cancel, so we just came on down and were hoping for the best. This is just a odd bird".
Florence's path remains uncertain. The more it stalls, the more it rains.
Duke Energy, the nation's No. 2 power company, said Florence could knock out electricity to three-quarters of its 4 million customers in the Carolinas, and outages could last for weeks.
"While it remains possible the system becomes a tropical storm, we see no reason right now to believe it becomes more than that, and we're not convinced it develops at all", said Space City Weather's Eric Berger in the blog.
"Rather than a very narrow and intense band of winds, the winds are slightly weaker - but [they] cover a much larger area", NHC senior hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart said on Wednesday.
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.
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Fabinho is full of desire and wants to be involved and I have to tell him "You're not involved this week" and that's not nice. Klopp asked at Friday's press conference. "It feels like we have 500 games in the next seven weeks.
While some of the computer forecasting models conflicted, the latest projections more or less showed the storm shifting southward and westward in a way that suddenly put more of SC in danger and imperiled Georgia, too. Photos taken from space show just how imposing this storm really is.
Greg Postel, hurricane and storm specialist for The Weather Channel.
Axios: "The ties between Hurricane Florence and climate change" - "Hurricane Florence is a unique Atlantic hurricane, projected to stall out after hitting land and forecast to dump upwards of 2 feet of rain on several states, much like Hurricane Harvey did in Texas a year ago".
Computer simulations - especially the often star-performing European model - push the storm further south, even into SC and Georgia.
"This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", the hurricane center says. But a computer simulation known as the European model predicts some places could get 45 inches. "So many weird/outlandish solutions - but that's what happens when the steering currents collapse".
As of 8:00 am (1200 GMT), it was packing sustained winds of 130 miles (210 kilometers) per hour, the Miami-based National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.
Massive waves of up to 83 feet were measured inside the storm on Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch said, citing satellite altimeter data.