VALDOSTA – Hurricane Florence will impact millions and cost billions of dollars!
Meteorologists are now making comparisons with the impact of HARVEY and with what might be ahead for Hurricane Florence. The “blocking high” inland causing the storms to stall with biblical rain totals, over Texas last year, potentially over North Carolina later this week.
FLORENCE is now a Major Hurricane, 115 mph winds and that’s a Cat 3, intensity models still thinking a strong Cat 4 with 150 mph winds before landfall. The cyclone is 580 miles SSE of Bermuda, pressure down to 962 mbs, moving west again a little faster at 13 mph. The turning process however has slowly begun.
The “cone of uncertainty” has narrowed, do not notice a shift. Charleston is on the left edge, Outer Banks no longer included on the right edge but the North Carolina mainland is included and so is Norfolk. And now inland includes the NE corner of Georgia, Eastern Tennessee and Kentucky up to the Ohio River and the southern two-thirds of West Virginia and almost all of Virginia. FLORENCE’s impact will consume even more.
Landfall still is targeted at sunset Thursday evening over Wilmington, NC. Many models are now showing a drift even farther to the right for FLORENCE, some still thinking the South Carolina coast is possible. Both states are under a State of Emergency and most Emergency Managers are now working to minimize power outages, open storm drains and move patients to higher ground or evacuate now. Here we go!
Evacuation orders usually take 36-48 hours. With a late Thursday landfall, more importantly, with tropical storm force winds approaching the coast by Wednesday at 8pm, expected orders to come soon, later today to start tomorrow. And a Storm Surge WATCH is expected for the Carolina Coast tomorrow.
Hurricane HELENE is up to 105 mph winds, starting the turn to the north and into the Central Atlantic. No worries.
Hurricane ISAAC still a minimal Cat 1 hurricane, little change, encountering the start of some wind shear, moving west at 14 mph, a little faster. Leeward Islands landfall as a hurricane midday Thursday, back to a Tropical Storm with a very hostile environment in the Caribbean. Long range models are really a mess on ISAAC, suggesting a weaker storm may get drawn across Hispaniola and head due north later in the weekend. We’ll watch that!
But the monster that is Hurricane FLORENCE is our story, a disaster getting ready to happen, models in better consensus Day 1-3, people are taking action now to save lives.