Hurricane Florence has weakened to a Category 1 and is forecast to make landfall later today as hurricane strength winds continue to blow less than 30 miles of the Carolinas.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Florence continues to track Northwest across the Atlantic generating wind speeds of 90 mph.

The storm is expected to make landfall in southern North Carolina within the next few hours.

Despite the downgrade the NHC has not changed its outlook on the expected impact of the hurricane.

Yesterday, catastrophe risk modeler RMS reaffirmed its view that the storm was the strongest

since Hurricane Hazel, which generated losses of $15bn - in today’s money - when it battered North Carolina in 1954.

The NHC maintains its warning that “a life-threatening storm surge is now highly likely along portions of the coastlines of South Carolina and North Carolina.”

The body forecasts life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding over portions of the Carolinas and the southern and central Appalachians.

The potential for extensive flood- and storm surge- related damage has drawn early comparisons with Hurricane Harvey, which produced a historic level of rainfall along the Texas coast in August 2017

Analysis from Jefferies estimates the rough market share of losses could leave each Munich Re and Swiss Re with 5 percent of the tab, while Scor and Hannover Re are both likely to pay for 1 percent of losses.

Jefferies analyst Philip Kett said London market carriers Beazley and Hiscox are also set to take a hit.

The firm said it expects insured losses will be materially lower than $20bn.