Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Hurricane Florence to hit North Carolina, flooding rains ahead

Hurricane Florence still poses grave threat despite weaker winds Time nearly up: Fierce Hurricane Florence aims at southeast US
Doris Mccormick | 14 September, 2018, 22:12

"Florence developed further north and east in the Atlantic than you'd expect for a storm that reaches the US", said Chris Davis, senior scientist at the US National Center for Atmospheric Research.

As of the 2 p.m. advisory released by the National Hurricane Center, Florence is about 180 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina and about 270 miles east of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

Forecasters said wind speeds have dropped from a high of 225 km/h to 175 km/h, reducing it from a Category 4 storm to a Category 2, and additional fluctuations and weakening were likely as it swirled toward land.

In his latest Facebook post, Mr Nolan said that it looks increasingly likely that hurricane Helene will make landfall in Ireland at some point between 14:00 on Monday and 02:00 on Tuesday next.

Rain is expected to begin in Charlotte late Friday evening and into Saturday. The hurricane's maximum wind speed slowed to 105 miles per hour overnight, but experts predict 13 feet of storm surge will spill across some coastal areas, creating "catastrophic" and "life-threatening inundation", said a NHC statement issued Thursday. Similar declarations were made earlier in North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Hurricane Florence weakened from a Category 4 down to a Category 2 storm Wednesday night but the massive system is still considered extremely unsafe and life threatening.

"We expected it to strengthen and then as it approached the coast to weaken somewhat", Abrams says.

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The storm's minimum central pressure is 955 MB or 28.20 inches. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive rainfall, NOAA noted.

The main concerns for us from Florence will be moderately heavy rainfall, which will cause flooded roadways, strong gusty winds, coastal flooding, moderate potential for downed trees and widespread power outages, and unsafe travel conditions.

According to NHC: "A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion". Computer models that have shown it restrengthening and moving into the Gulf are discounted at this time, but the system will have to be watched for the next several days in case it reorganizes. The trend is "exceptionally bad news", said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy, since it "smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge". This is a life-threatening situation. "Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials".

"This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding", the NHC said.

A hurricane warning is in effect for South Santee River, SC, north to Duck, NC, and the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

In the case of Hurricane Harvey previous year, human-caused warming was found to have made the storm's record-breaking rainfall three times more likely and 15% more intense. "The upper-level outflow remains impressive and is still expanding except toward the south".

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