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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Florence did exactly what it was expected to do, strengthening into a hurricane Sunday morning.
At 5 p.m. Hurricane Florence was located about 720 miles southeast or Bermuda and about 580 miles northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands.
Florence is moving toward the west near 7 mph, and this general motion is expected to continue today.
A west-northwestward motion with an increase in forward speed is expected by Monday, and that motion is forecast to continue through mid-week.
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 southeastern coast of the United States on Thursday.
Aircraft and satellite data indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 85 mph with higher gusts.
Florence is forecast to rapidly strengthen to a major hurricane by Monday, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 125 miles.
Florence is forecast to become larger over the next few days.
There are currently no coastal watches or warnings in effect.