MIAMI (AP) - The tropics are very active this weekend, as several tropical storms are moving through the Atlantic.
TROPICAL STORM FLORENCE
Florence is now a hurricane and forecasters say it could hit the U.S. East Coast as a powerful hurricane next week.
Florence is expected to become a major hurricane by Monday, the National Hurricane Center said, adding that "a rapid intensification" is forecast to begin Sunday. It will continue to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.
The Miami-based weather center says the storm is forecast to become a "major hurricane" Monday, travel between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before approaching the southeastern U.S. coast on Thursday.
Officials in the Carolinas warned residents to prepare and to brace for impact.
At 11 a.m. EDT, the hurricane center said Florence's maximum sustained winds were estimated to be 75 mph. The storm was centered about 750 miles southeast of Bermuda and moving west at 6 mph. A west-northwestward motion with ain increase in forward speed is expected by Monday and will continue through mid-week.
There are no reported coastal watches or warnings in effect. However, the NHC says that swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda and are beginning to reach portions of the U.S. East Coast. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.
TROPICAL STORM HELENE
Officials say Tropical Storm Helene is approaching islands off the western coast of Africa and is expected to become a hurricane soon.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Sunday morning that it expects Helene to produce tropical storm conditions for parts of the Cabo Verde Islands on Sunday. Strengthening is forecasted during the next 48 hours and Helen is expected to become a hurricane later on Sunday.
As of 11 a.m. EDT, the storm was located about 120 miles southeast of the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands. The storm's maximum sustained winds are 65 mph and it is moving west at 13 mph (22 kph). A turn toward the west-northwest is forecasted to occur by Monday.
The NHC says that Helene is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 2 to 4 inches over the southern Cabo Verde Islands through Sunday. Officials say heavy rainfall on the islands could produce life-threatening flash floods.
A hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning and hurricane watch are in effect for the Cabo Verde islands of Santiago, Fogo, and Brava.
TROPICAL STORM ISAAC
A third tropical storm has formed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean. Tropical Storm Isaac is strengthening over the Eastern Tropical Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The NHC in Miami also said on Sunday morning that Tropical Storm Isaac was centered about 1,470 miles east of the Windward Islands.
There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect, but officials say it is expected to become a hurricane by Monday.
The storm's maximum sustained winds are 65 mph and it is moving west at 9 mph. A westward motion is forecasted to continue through the end of the week, with Isaac expected to move across the Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday.