Friday, September 14, 2018

Hurricane Florence Update

Here’s the latest (as of 3:00 AM EDT) from Weather Underground:

Hurricane Florence ground its way along the southern coast of North Carolina on Thursday night, delivering torrential rains, high winds, and an already-dangerous storm surge. As of 11 pm EDT, Florence was about 60 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, drifting northwest at 6 mph with top sustained winds of 90 mph. Although Florence had become a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, it remained a Category 5 heavy rain and inland flooding threat, and a Category 3 storm surge threat.

Radar data from the Morehead City, NC radar showed Florence’s outer spiral bands twirling across much of southern and eastern North Carolina on Thursday night. Atlantic Beach, just south of Morehead City, recorded 12.73″ through mid-evening Thursday, noted, and the preliminary total was nearing 18″ by midnight. Several Personal Weather Stations on the coast near Morehead City reported 5 – 10 inches of rain by 6 pm EDT Thursday, but later went silent.

Some of the highest winds with Florence were produced by a secondary ring of thunderstorms encircling the storm’s main eye. That ring of intense convection lay parallel to the coast on Thursday afternoon, slowly translating inland and dumping huge amounts of rain. A flight-level wind of 117 mph was reported by hurricane hunters Thursday night in this outer band. Surface winds gusted to 106 mph at Cape Lookout and 105 mph at Fort Macon late Thursday.

It’s not the wind so much as it is the volume of rain that will be the biggest danger.