First Warning Forecast: Hurricane Florence Moving Closer to East Coast
Meteorologist Madeline Evans’ First Warning Forecast
***Tornado Watch in effect for Dare County in North Carolina until 9:00 PM.
***A Hurricane Warning from Duck, North Carolina south into South Carolina, including Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
***Tropical Storm Warning for Hertford, Gates, Pasquotank, Camden, Western Currituck, Bertie, Chowan, Perquimans, Eastern Currituck. North Carolina-Virginia border to Cape Charles Light 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.
***Coastal Flood Warning in effect until 6 am Sunday for Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Chesapeake, York, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Gloucester, Middlesex, and Mathews.
We continue to keep an eye on Hurricane Florence as the storm inches closer to the southeast coast. Florence is still a Category 2 hurricane. The hurricane is now 110 miles ESE of Wilmington, North Carolina and is moving toward the northwest at 10 mph. We will start to see Florence slow down a bit as the day progresses. The center of Florence is expected to approach the coasts of the Carolinas today and move over the coast of southern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina tonight and Friday. Florence is still a very large hurricane. Tropical-Storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles from the center. Heavy rain, storm surge, damaging winds, rough surf and isolated tornadoes will be possible, especially in eastern North Carolina.
The Outer Banks will see Tropical-Storm-Force winds today, with winds gradually picking up speed in coastal Virginia. We will also see some intermittent rain throughout the day as the outer bands of Florence move in. Showers and storms will increase in activity as the day progresses. An isolated tornado is not out of the question, especially in North Carolina.
We will continue to see conditions deteriorate tonight through Saturday. Some areas could see gusts 40-50 mph, with gusts up to hurricane strength in the OBX.
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 dangerous travel conditions. We have to remember, Florence is a very large storm. We will feel the impacts even if the track has shifted southward.
Florence will move very slowly on Saturday, but we should start to see conditions improve slightly. Looking a little better on Sunday as high pressure builds in and pushes Florence over inland NC/SC. Expect wind and rain through the weekend. We will continue to see lingering showers and storms to start the work week.
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)
Areas close to and south of the Albemarle could see 6-10′
Locally higher totals are possible
Winds will ramp up today, stay strong through Friday, then slowly relax through the weekend.
Peak winds (sustained at tropical storm force, gusts to near hurricane force)
Hatteras: 55-65 G75+
Nags Head: 40-50 G60+
Elizabeth City: 30-40 G50+
Virginia Beach: 30-40 G50+
Franklin: 25-35 G40+
Williamsburg: 25-35 G40+
Melfa: 25-35 G40+
Southeast Virginia: 1-3′
Salvo, NC to North Carolina/Virginia Border: 2-4′
Ocracoke Inlet NC to Salvo NC: 4-6′
Cape Lookout NC to Ocracoke Inlet NC: 6-9′
A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina through Friday.
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: 6 (High)
Air Quality: Good (Code Green)
11 AM Update: Florence is now 145 miles ESE of Wilmington, NC.
Florence is moving toward the northwest near 10 mph. This general motion, accompanied by a further decrease in forward speed, is expected to continue through today. A turn to the west-northwest and west at an even slower forward speed is expected tonight and Friday, and a slow west-southwestward motion is forecast Friday night and Saturday.
On the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts of North and South Carolina later today, then move near or over the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina in the hurricane warning area tonight and Friday.
A slow motion across portions of eastern South Carolina is forecast Friday night through Saturday night.Data from the aircraft and Doppler weather radars indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 105 mph with higher gusts.
Little change in strength is expected before the center reaches the coast, with weakening expected after the center moves inland.
Florence is a large hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.
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