Hurricane Florence remains a life-threatening Category 3 storm churning in the Atlantic but it is expected to slow on its path to the coasts of North and South Carolina. Here's the latest of what we know:
• Florence is a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. The hurricane is about 485 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., and is moving at a speed of 15 mph. The projected path of the storm has shifted slightly south, diminishing any possible impacts for the Philadelphia region, though there's the potential for rough surf and rip currents at the Shore.
• The National Hurricane Center says Florence is expected to slow down Thursday night when it runs into a high-pressure system that is forecast to begin building over the east-central United States. That means the storm will linger off the coast, battering coastal areas with winds and storm surges, before the eye of the storm makes landfall early Saturday, likely as a Category 2 with winds of about 100 mph. A state of emergency has been declared in neighboring Georgia, due to possible impacts there after the storm's landfall.
• The National Weather Service says wave heights of up to 83 feet were measured in Florence's northeast quadrant by satellite altimeter.
• Officials are urging residents to evacuate coastal areas in the hurricane's path no later than Wednesday. President Trump urged people in the path to leave, saying: "Get out of its way. Don't play games with it. It's a big one… We love you all, we want you safe, get out of the storm's way."
• While Florence will drench the South with heavy rains, the forecast for the Philadelphia region from the weather service's office in Mount Holly calls for a mostly dry weekend, with partly sunny skies Saturday and mostly sunny skies Sunday. Florence's remnants could eventually bring rain to the our region next week, but that part of the forecast remains uncertain.
• Task forces from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including a contingent of Philadelphia firefighters, have been dispatched to the Carolinas with boats and other equipment to assist in rescues and other recovery efforts.