Hurricane Florence, nearing Bermuda, downgraded to Category 1

Hurricane Florence weakened Thursday but was expected to restrengthen Friday as it headed toward Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast. Image courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Sept. 7 (UPI) —┬áThe National Hurricane Center downgraded Hurricane Florence to a Category 1 storm Thursday as it moved northwest toward Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast.

The storm had reached Category 4 storm earlier in the week and was expected to restrengthen late Friday and into the weekend.

The eye of the hurricane was 985 miles east-northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands and 1,050 miles east-southeast of Bermuda. It was moving northwest at 10 mph with 80 mph maximum sustained winds.

Hurricane-force winds extended up to 15 miles from the center, according to the NHC. Tropical-storm-force winds extended outward up to 90 miles.

“Swells generated by Florence will begin to affect Bermuda on Friday and will reach portions of the U.S. East Coast over the weekend,” the NHC said. “These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.”

There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect.

“A turn toward the west-northwest with a decrease in forward speed is forecast is expected through Saturday, the NHC said.

Florence was the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season.

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