The Atlantic air pressure currents that steer hurricanes are wobbly, which means forecasters can say little for sure about where Hurricane Florence or two storms behind it might go.

South Carolina is not in the clear for any of them.

Florence was in the mid-Atlantic on Tuesday blowing 85-mph winds on a course that would likely keep it well offshore the Southeast coast.

But that could change this weekend. Some recent computer forecast runs have brought it very close to the U.S. coast as a severe storm next week.

Meanwhile, at least two other storms are expected to come off Africa and could take a more standard track across the Atlantic to the outer Caribbean islands.

Historically, nearly all the hurricanes that have passed that way have made landfall in South Carolina, though there is no indication any part of the U.S. is in a path.

Elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Gordon on Tuesday was forecast to slam into the Gulf Coast states overnight as a minimal hurricane. That storm isn't expected to affect South Carolina.

Looking forward, if the Florence storm is a strong enough hurricane this weekend, it would be expected to make the expected turn to the north, following a flow of low pressure, said meteorologist Jeff Masters, with the private company Weather Underground. But if the storm weakens, it won't.

And behind the low pressure is a flow of high pressure that would drive it more to the west.

"If Florence misses the (low pressure), things could get interesting for the Southeast United States," said Mark Malisck, severe weather liaison for the S.C. Climate Office.

Forecasters are still seven days out until knowing for sure, said Charleston-based meteorologist Shea Gibson, with the private company WeatherFlow.

September is the worst period of the hurricane season, a time when storms can roll off Africa one after the other in waves followed by lulls. In early September 2017, three hurricanes were whirling in the Atlantic basin at the same time — Irma, Jose and Katia — following the catastrophic Harvey and ahead of the equally catastrophic Maria.

Irma did millions of dollars of damage to the South Carolina coast.

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Reach Bo Petersen Reporter at Facebook, @bopete on Twitter or 1-843-937-5744.

Science and environment reporter. Author of Washing Our Hands in the Clouds.

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