At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Florence was located near latitude 29.4 North, longitude 70.7 West. Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph (28 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue this morning. A motion toward the northwest is forecast to begin by this afternoon and continue through Thursday. Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move slowly through early Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas today, and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday. Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 km/h) with higher gusts. Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Strengthening is forecast through tonight. While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast. An Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft is currently investigating the hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles (110 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). The minimum central pressure recently measured by the reconnaissance aircraft was 943 mb (27.85 inches).