Good afternoon! I want to give you an update on Hurricane Florence and what to expect in the next day or so. Images I will be using are for informational purposes from the National Hurricane Center. Also, there will not be any affiliate links in this post.
As of the 2:00pm Eastern Time advisory, Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour. Hurricane Florence has gone through at least two Eyewall Replacement Cycles (ERC) which temporarily weakened the storm, but the wind field expanded. The expanded wind field will lead to a significant storm surge event.
Hurricane force winds (in brown) now extend 70 miles out from the center of the hurricane. Tropical storm force winds (in yellow) now extend 175 miles out from the center of the hurricane.
You can see that hurricane force and tropical storm force winds extend will beyond the probable path cone of the eye of the storm. The strongest winds will be in the Northeast quadrant of the storm, along with the highest storm surge. However, that does not mean that anyone outside of that area is safe. The winds of Hurricane Florence will cause catastrophic damage, plus there will be significant rainfall with this system.
Based on the current predicted path, the North Carolina coast will receive over 20 inches of rain. These estimates may change dependent upon storm track and speed. Currently, Hurricane Florence is expected to slow down as it gets closer to the coast and could potentially dump well in excess of 20 inches of rain along the coast. Hurricane Florence is now moving Northwest, changing from its previous course of West Northwest. Any further shift in the storm’s track will change the rainfall location and possibly rainfall totals. Anyone within the range of Hurricane Florence’s path should prepare to evacuate (if in the direct path of this storm along the coast) or have provisions in the event of a long-term power outage further inland. Flash flooding is expected inland and driving into a flooded roadway is way too dangerous.
What to expect over the next 12-24 hours?
Tropical storm force winds could reach the North Carolina coast by Thursday 8:00AM. As you can see from the above graphic, these winds will be constant through about Wednesday 2:00PM before hurricane force winds reach land. Plans for evacuation for those of you along the coast and near the coast, need to be complete today. Plans for provisions for those of you further inland should be complete today or very early tomorrow. I will provide another update tomorrow morning.