Florence is a major hurricane out in in the Atlantic Ocean and is on a probable path targeting the Carolinas. Here are updates from Monday. See Tuesday updates here.

• Florence is a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. It continues to strengthen and could near Category 5 status by Tuesday. Abnormally warm ocean waters — a feature that has become more common with climate change — have helped energize the storm.

• The current track puts it on a course that will make landfall along the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday evening, somewhere between Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Wilmington, N.C. Forecasters say the storm could stall after landfall — much like Hurricane Harvey did in Texas last year — and cause disastrous flooding in parts of the Carolinas and Virginia.

• For southeastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey — where the ground is already saturated from recent storms — the heaviest rains may stay south, largely sparing the area. But the forecast could change, depending on where Florence goes after making landfall. "The most probable impacts to our area, if any, will be the potential for heavy, flooding rainfall and perhaps breezy conditions by the end of the week and into the weekend," the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J., said late Tuesday afternoon. No matter the outcome, the Shore can expect coastal flooding.

The forecast from the National Hurricane Center as of 5 p.m. Monday.
National Hurricane Center
The forecast from the National Hurricane Center as of 5 p.m. Monday.

• The governors of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia have declared states of emergency in advance of the storm. Coastal evacuations have been ordered in South Carolina and parts of North Carolina.

• Florence is already having a coastal impact, with the National Hurricane Center reporting that swells generated by the storm are affecting Bermuda and portions of the East Coast. "These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions," the center said in an advisory. The weather service's local office says the increased wave action has the potential to cause more coastal flooding by late Wednesday.

• Farther out in the Atlantic, Isaac and Helene are now Category 1 and Category 2 hurricanes, respectively. Isaac's probable path has it targeting the Caribbean, while it looks like Helene will turn north and become a fish-killer in the North Atlantic.

• The drenching rainfall that prompted a flood watch throughout the Philadelphia region through early Tuesday was not associated with Hurricane Florence.

• Brian McNoldy, a senior research associate at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School, has said that if Florence hits the East Coast, it will be a historic "outlier." Of the 67 named storms that passed within 200 nautical miles of Florence's position last Thursday since 1851, not one hit the United States, he noted.

• Information on emergency preparedness can be found here.