First Warning Forecast: Latest on what you can expect as Hurricane Florence moves closer
Meteorologist April Loveland’s First Warning Forecast
*** A Hurricane Warning from Duck, North Carolina south into South Carolina, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
***Tropical Storm Warning from Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border.
***Tropical Storm Watch from North Carolina-Virginia border to Cape Charles and Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.
***Storm Surge Warning from Duck, North Carolina south into South Carolina including Albemale and Pamlico Sounds.
***Storm Surge Watch from Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border.
The front that has been giving us showers and storms the past few days will finally dissipate and lift northwestward. We continue to keep our eyes on Hurricane Florence. It is still a very powerful Category 4 hurricane. Sustained winds are at 140 mph with gusts up to 165 mph. It is about 625 miles southeast at Cape Fear, North Carolina.
In terms of our weather today, we will start the day feeling very soupy with some areas of patchy fog. A few showers are possible across the area. Especially the peninsulas and Eastern Shore. As the day progresses we’ll see partly cloudy skies with a slight chance for a shower or storm. Highs today in the 80s and lows in the 70s.
As Hurricane Florence continues to move toward the west-northwest at 17 mph, we will see an increase in wind speed and rain chances by lunchtime Thursday. Florence will slow down by late Thursday into Friday. On the current track, the hurricane will move over the southwestern Atlantic between Bermuda and the Bahamas and then approach the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday and Friday. Even though the track has shifted a bit to the south, which could bring us a little less rain, but we will still have the possibility for major impacts. This is a very wide storm, so its effect will be felt by many. It will also slam on the brakes and stall near the coast of the Carolinas. This will continue to bring large amounts of rain. Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and river flooding is likely. We will also see life-threatening surf and rip currents. Isolated tornadoes are also not out of the question. We continue to let everyone know to not take this lightly. If you have any preparations to make, make sure you get them done today. We will see conditions deteriorating as the day progresses on Thursday.
Based on the current forecast track, here is what to expect…
Most of the area will see 4-6″ of rain over several days (Thursday-Sunday)
Locally higher totals are possible
Winds will ramp up on Thursday, stay strong through Friday, then slowly relax through the weekend.
Peak winds (sustained at tropical storm force, gusts to near hurricane force)
Hatteras: 45-55 G65+
Elizabeth City: 30-40 G50+
Virginia Beach: 30-40 G50+
Franklin: 25-35 G45+
Williamsburg: 25-35 G45+
Melfa: 25-35 G45+
North Carolina: 3-5′
South of Albemarle: 6-9′
Storm track is favorable for isolated tornadoes in NE NC and SE VA
Swells from Florence will impact a large section of the East Coast and are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions
Weather & Health
Pollen: Moderate (Ragweed)
UV Index: 8 (Very High)
Air Quality: Good (Code Green)
Florence is moving toward the west-northwest near 17 mph. A motion toward the west-northwest and northwest is expected through Thursday. Florence is expected to slow down considerably by late Thursday into Friday, and move through early Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move over the southwestern Atlantic Ocean between Bermuda and the Bahamas today,and approach the coast of North Carolina or South Carolina in the hurricane warning area on Thursday and Friday. Maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph, with higher gusts. Florence is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Strengthening is forecast through tonight.While some weakening is expected on Thursday, Florence is forecast to be an extremely dangerous major hurricane when it nears the U.S. coast. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles, from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175miles.
Helene is moving toward the north-northwest near 13 mph, and a turn toward the north is expected later today. A turn toward the northeast with an increase in forward speed is likely by the end of the week. Maximum sustained winds are near 90 mph, with higher gusts. Gradual weakening is forecast over the next couple of days,and Helene is expected to become a tropical storm on Thursday.
5:00 AM AST Wed Sep 12
Location: 19.2°N 35.7°W
Moving: NNW at 13 mph
Min pressure: 977 mb
Max sustained: 90 mph
Tropical Storm Isaac
Isaac is moving toward the west near 16 mph and this general motion is expected to continue through the weekend. On the forecast track, Isaac’s center is forecast to move across the central Lesser Antilles and into the eastern Caribbean Sea on Thursday.
8:00 AM AST Wed Sep 12
Location: 14.4°N 54.1°W
Moving: W at 15 mph
Min pressure: 1000 mb
Max sustained: 60 mph
Meteorologist April Loveland
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