As of Tuesday morning, Hurricane Florence is a major hurricane and is currently over open water.
There is nothing in Florence's path to diminish or weaken the storm until it makes landfall. The ocean water temperatures will provide the fuel, and very little wind shear is present to weaken the storm from above.
We know the obvious impacts of a hurricane when it makes landfall... the destructive, catastrophic winds, heavy rainfall, dangerous rip currents and also storm surge.
Rip currents will start to intensify leading up to the hurricane's arrival later this week.
Coastal North Carolina still looks like the area of greatest impact from Hurricane Florence. Onshore flow will force ocean water inland as a storm surge. Storm surge is generally responsible for the great loss of life and property damage in major hurricanes. A 6 to 12 foot storm surge will be possible with this system. The video in the media player above includes an animated 3D example of what this looks like.