Hurricane Florence became a major storm when it reached Category 3 strength with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, the National Hurricane Center said shortly after 8:30 a.m.
Florence remains in the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, about 2,200 miles from South Florida and currently poses no threat to land.
Forecasters expect its strength to fluctuate in coming days.
“A gradual weakening trend is forecast to begin tonight and continue through Friday,” Hurricane Specialist Dave Roberts wrote in a Wednesday morning advisory.
“After that time, Florence is forecast to restrengthen through the weekend.”
As far as its projected path, Florence is expected to remain far out over the ocean through early next week.
With Tropical Storm Gordon moving to the interior of the Gulf states, the hurricane center continues to monitor Florence, a tropical wave that has moved off the coast of Africa and yet another system that Senior Hurricane Specials Jack Beven writes, “is forecast to move off the west coast of Africa in a few days.”
The wave that has already moved off Africa has a 90 percent chance of developing into a tropical cyclone during the next five days. The system that has yet to emerge is being give a low chance — 30 percent — of developing.
Both system remain thousands of miles from the U.S. coastline.
A tropical cyclone can take the form of a tropical depression, tropical storm, or hurricane.
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