MIAMI – Florence could cause life-threatening surf and rip currents along parts of the U.S. East Coast this weekend as the storm swirls across the Atlantic, according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center.

Though weakened to a tropical storm, Florence was expected to regain hurricane strength as it neared Bermuda. Large swells were likely to start hitting the British island territory in the north Atlantic Ocean on Friday.

Forecasters said it was too soon to tell where the storm would go because there was still “very large uncertainty” in Florence’s long-term track.

Improving atmospheric conditions were expected to allow Florence to regain its former strength. The storm reached major hurricane status Wednesday, peaking with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.

Meanwhile, two low pressure systems off the coast of Africa behind Florence also had high chances of developing into tropical storms, forecasters said.

“Since we are near the peak of hurricane season, this is a good time for everyone who lives in a hurricane-prone area to ensure they have their hurricane plan in place,” hurricane specialist David Zelinsky wrote in a forecast advisory.

The National Hurricane Center said Florence’s maximum sustained winds Friday morning were estimated to be 65 mph. The storm was centered about 985 miles east-southeast of Bermuda and is moving west at 7 mph.

No coastal watches or warnings were in effect Friday.

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