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Florence downgraded to a Category 3, but dangerous wind field grows

florence september 12 326p.jpg

Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly with the latest observation, but don't let the storm dropping from category 4 to category 3 fool you!

While the most intense winds right around the very center of the storm are now topping out around 125 mph (instead of 130 mph), the dangerous wind field for Florence continues to grow.

The area of the storm with tropical storm force winds (39 mph or greater) and the area with hurricane force winds (74 mph or greater) has been expanding today. Hurricane force winds now reach 70 miles out from the center of the storm and tropical storm force winds extend out 175 miles.

The very slow moving track along the Carolina coast is also just about a worst case scenario. It means days of pounding winds and drenching rains in the same areas. This will likely lead to catastrophic flooding and damage even if Florence doesn't make landfall as a "major" category hurricane.

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