Hurricane Florence now category 3 storm: report

WASHINGTON - Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 3 storm on Wednesday as peak winds eased to 125 miles per hour (205 kilometers per hour), the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

"Florence's peak winds have decreased slightly but the size of the wind field has increased," the NHC said in a 2:00 pm (1800 GMT) advisory.

READ: Over a million told to flee as Hurricane Florence stalks US East Coast

"Some fluctuations in strength will be possible through Thursday morning," it said.

"Although slow weakening is expected to begin by late Thursday, Florence is still forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it nears the US coast late Thursday and Friday."