ORLANDO, Fla. - The tropics are still looking busy Friday as Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas and other systems continue swirling in the Atlantic Ocean.
Florence, which was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane overnight, officially made landfall near Wrightsville Beach shortly before 7:45 a.m.
News 6's Erik Sandoval was live in Wilmington shortly before the storm made landfall. Strong winds and heavy rainfall had already left tens of thousands of residents without power.
The storm brought high storm surge near 13 feet and flooding rain as far as 40 miles inland of the storm.
As of 2 p.m., the slow-moving storm barely had Category 1 hurricane strength and was almost at a standstill over southeastern North Carolina, according to the Associated Press.
Forecasters said Florence is expected to continue moving farther inland across the Carolinas through the weekend before turning toward the central Appalachian Mountains early next week.
"Keep in mind it is going to continue to ride along the Carolina coast for the next several hours, even into tomorrow, possibly dumping rain between 20 and 40 inches," Bridges said.
Because the system has slowed down so much, it will continue to dump lots of rain over several hours and even days.
Meanwhile, Isaac is a tropical storm that will eventually die out as it moves closer to the Yucatán Peninsula, according to Bridges.
"There’s a slight chance by some model data that it could re-emerge in the Gulf of Mexico," Bridges said. "It’s still way way too early to tell. Watch that one closely."
A tropical wave in the Gulf of Mexico is still being monitored, but its chance of development in the coming days has decreased.
"That little disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico continues to move closer to Texas, with only a 30 percent chance of development within the next two days, as well as the next five days," Bridges said.
Meanwhile in Central Florida, Florence is pulling the moisture away from the Orlando area, leaving very low rain chances and an abundance of extreme heat.
Rain chances Friday and Saturday are only at 20 percent after the noon.
High temperatures will be well above the average of 91 degrees. Expect a high of 95 degrees Friday, 94 degrees Saturday and 95 degrees Sunday.
"The bigger issue is that it will feel like 105 throughout the weekend," Bridges said.
Rain chances do gradually increase Sunday to 50 percent by the afternoon. Expect rain chances to be more typical at 40 percent Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
Central Florida beaches will see the biggest impacts from Florence through the weekend and start of next week.
"We should be on high alert, concerned about all the people who want to escape the heat through the weekend and go to the beach," Bridges said.
Rip currents will remain high and seas will continue to be close to 10 feet just off the coast.
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