If the title didn’t give it away, I still like to think today’s blog topic would be pretty obvious. There is one thing you really wont find me doing. You will not find me comparing Florence to other hurricanes of similar size and intensity. Why? Because while hurricanes may have the same strength, no two storms are exactly the same and it’s just not right to compare one storm against another. Though it is worth remembering those other storms so we can learn and grow from those experiences. For example Harvey made landfall as a category 4 storm before making a second landfall as a still strong category 3 storm.
Through this time parts of Texas received feet of rain causing extensive damage and 1,000 year flooding. I think this is something we can learn from, because Florence is doing it’s own thing in the Atlantic that could also mean feet of rain creating extensive damage.
Both the GFS and the EURO have Florence getting very close to the east coast and then just sitting there. It appears the storm is going to stall in a way before tracking south and making a complete landfall around South Carolina. Now that does play in our favor just a bit. As it sits there just off the coast, it will lose the ability to strengthen further. It will lose that ability because it will no longer be sitting in open waters where it can strengthen/maintain that strength, by continuing to feed off the warm open water of the Atlantic.
So where Florence sits right now. Keep in mind I am typing this at 1:00PM central time so if you are reading this blog many hours later, there could be new data available and you should see that out by visiting the NHC website. Florence currently has sustained winds of 125 mph making it a strong category 3 hurricane with a minimum central pressure of 948 mb. The storm is still tracking to the NW at 16 mph.
As I mentioned above the storm will continue to track NW before it moves south a bit thanks to an area of high pressure sitting well to the north that will basically steer the storm over the next 24 hours or so.
A couple of the main threats will be storm surge and accumulated rain fall. Rain fall totals will easily be measured in feet especially along the coast.
That being said it seems almost obvious that there are already Flash Flood Watches in effect on top of the Hurricane Watches and Warnings that are in effect for portions for most of the North Carolina Coast, and a portion of the South Carolina coast. It is important that if you have family or friends in the Carolinas you urge them to heed all warnings especially the evacuation warnings. If they have not left there is still time, but they need to leave ASAP.
Keep it to the blog, and as always be sure to watch WZDX News as Maggie and I will always have plenty of updates.