There are more than 20 million people facing the threat of the storm.
"Florence is going to drop tremendous amount of rain, not as much as [Hurricane] Harvey brought to Texas but there will nearly definitely be flooding", Salna says. "But it's possible the eye of Hurricane Florence will take a slight right turn to the south on Friday as it makes its way over eastern North Carolina, which could send a lot more rain to the Charleston area, according to Neil Dixon of the National Weather Service in Charleston".
"The reason there are going to be more major hurricanes is not necessarily there are going to be that many more storms.it's really the fact that those storms are going to get there faster", said Kieran Bhatia, lead author of the new research in the Journal of Climate. Tropical Storm Isaac was expected to pass south of Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba, while Hurricane Helene was moving northward away from land. Texas saw a similar scenario in 2017, when Hurricane Harvey's center moved just inland, and its counter-clockwise rotation allowed the storm to continually pull moisture inland from the Gulf of Mexico.
On Tuesday evening, the National Hurricane Center issues storm surge warnings for the areas around the Outer Banks in North Carolina and the South Santee River in SC.
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The storm, which reached Category 4 status on Monday, is expected to hit the Carolinas on Thursday or Friday.
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The new science is a testament to the growing ability of supercomputing to power simulations of the planet that show the future of massive features like the atmosphere and oceans, but still also maintain enough detail to capture smaller ones like Category 4 and 5 hurricanes. "This is the craziest one". Some areas had almost 60 inches of rain.
In a videotaped message from the White House, President Donald Trump said the government is fully prepared for Florence but urged people to "get out of its way".
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"I'm telling them to go inland, but I'm anxious about the rain and tornadoes too", Roberts said.
People buy supplies at Home Depot ahead of Hurricane Florence's landfall. "Normally, a landfalling tropical cyclone just keeps on going inland, gradually dissipating and raining itself out. Everyone was sold out", she said.
Even Wilmington, North Carolina - a coastal city accustomed to severe weather - is bracing for an unusually brutal impact.
"I don't think many of us have ever been through a Category 4". At this time, residents in Zone A in Virginia Beach have been ordered to evacuate. Coastal areas in both Carolinas have taken steps to evacuate residents and tourists, including a mandatory evacuation in SC.
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An American astronaut posted two additional photographs from the International Space Station, showing the storm aimed at Cape Hatteras, a thin and vulnerable strand of islands that jut out from North Carolina.