Let’s Talk About Florence

The numbers are only reinforced by the satellite imagery which shows a symmetrical pattern. Symmetry means there are no outside forces pushing at Hurricane Florence trying to rip her apart.

I follow a lot of meteorologists on Twitter. Florence has been all they can talk about, even with other storms in the Atlantic and Pacific. Most of the discussions on Florence have been about how she’s evaded forecasts and recently intensified rapidly. Fine for meteorologists. How about everyone else?

Here’s where we stand midday Monday:

LOCATION…25.0N 60.0W

That’s a statistically powerful storm. The numbers are only reinforced by the satellite imagery which shows a symmetrical pattern. Symmetry means there are no outside forces pushing at Hurricane Florence trying to rip her apart.

Buoys near the hurricane are reporting water temperatures around 84°. The ocean between Florence and the coast gets progressively warmer. Warm water is a hurricane’s gasoline.

Except for some wind shear near landfall the signs point toward Florence gaining strength. That’s reflected in the official forecast which peaks Florence at 150 mph.

The Hurricane Center put out bullet points with their last technical discussion. Wind is their third worry.

Key Messages:

1. A life-threatening storm surge is likely along portions of the
coastlines of South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia, and
a Storm Surge Watch will likely be issued for some of these areas by
Tuesday morning. All interests from South Carolina into the
mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in
place and follow any advice given by local officials.

2. Life-threatening freshwater flooding is likely from a prolonged
and exceptionally heavy rainfall event, which may extend inland over
the Carolinas and Mid Atlantic for hundreds of miles as Florence is
expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and moves inland.

3. Damaging hurricane-force winds are likely along portions of the
coasts of South Carolina and North Carolina, and a Hurricane Watch
will likely be issued by Tuesday morning. Damaging winds could also
spread well inland into portions of the Carolinas and Virginia.

4. Large swells affecting Bermuda and portions of the U.S. East
Coast will continue this week, resulting in life-threatening surf
and rip currents.

It’s difficult to believe anyone will willingly ride out this storm on the barrier islands. The damage will likely be major, but loss of life will hopefully be zero.

Flooding is a different story. As Florence approaches the coast it will slow down. That means areas under rain will experience a long lasting deluge and areas near the coast will experience an extended time of storm surge flooding.

In the end, even with major damage near landfall, the biggest potential for grief from Florence might be inland flooding.

Hurricane Florence should arrive late Thursday or early Friday. Over those next few days she will have fits and starts as eyewall replacement cycles take place. Don’t fixate over static short term numbers. Don’t get your hopes up if Florence weakens. This is a major hurricane on the way to the East Coast.

We probably haven’t seen the last forecast correction either. Stand by.

10 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Florence”

  1. Any thoughts on landfall? I see that right now only the NHC model & 1 other show it down near the NC/SC border, another 10 have it much further north in the top 1/2 or 1/3 of NC. I cant find the ECMWF model from today anywhere, but it does look like 4 days ago it also had a southern landing like the NOAA. Is the European model still the gold standard as it was a few years ago the last time one came near us in CT?

  2. I am keeping my eyes and ears open in case the hurricane should head to CT after it finishes with NC, SC, et al.
    From everything I learned from you prior to Gloria, I could see this is a horrifying storm that is developing.
    I am glad to be able to hear what you have to say about this storm as time passes.
    Thanks for all you do!

  3. Thanks so very much, Geoff! We live near Middlefield,Ct. and Miss, MISS, MISS seeing you and trusting your reporting . NO weatherperson that we depend upon here has ever come up to your high standards. Again, THANK YOU for being such an honest, professional and decent human being. the J

  4. We sorely miss your insights back east in ol’ Ct. Nobody goes into detail here like you just did. What’s it gonna take to get you back east? I’ve been saving all my wishes and filling up the old piggy bank , but sadly it doesn’t seem to be enough. Wishing you good health and happiness,
    Dave Neto

  5. A good friend and shipmate of mnie lives in Wilmington, NC. He lives on high ground–they are fine. Got power back on yesterday, has plenty of food, all is well with them…

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