Florence remains to be a powerful category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph. Some weakening has occurred today, but there will be one last window tonight and early tomorrow for Florence to have another shot at strengthening a bit before its center begins to reach the southern North Carolina/northern South Carolina coasts.
This will be a very brief article on some of the slight modifications that I made to my forecast.
The first image below shows the official track and cone of uncertainty from the National Hurricane Center. Their latest forecast has Florence making landfall along the southern coast of North Carolina before moving into South Carolina. I plotted their forecast on a county map, so that you can see it a bit better.
The Weather Prediction Center’s latest rainfall forecast indicates that 20+ inches of rain will fall along and just inland from the southern North Carolina/northern South Carolina coasts. Some regions could exceed 40 inches of rain. For those in any region that is forecasted to get around or above 4 to 6 inches of rain, take special note. The flooding situation that evolves will be the big story with Florence.
I made no changes to my landfall forecast from last night. It’s within the realm of possibilities that Florence could skirt southwest along the South Carolina coast once interacting with land, but I decided not to account for a possible second landfall that might occur. Getting into very technical details likely won’t change the overall impacts anyway.
I made some modifications to my impacts map. I extended the pink zone, the region where I believe impacts could be severe, farther northeast along the North Carolina coast. Even though a landfall should occur farther southward, high storm surge will likely be very high well-away from the storm’s center to the right. I made no modifications to the pink zone in South Carolina. I’m not confident enough at this point that Florence won’t attempt to make a turn southwestward along the South Carolina coast. If I gain more confidence that for some reason that won’t occur, I’ll modify that part of the forecast tomorrow.
Other than that, I trimmed back some of the red zone, the region where I believe at least some impacts could occur, for parts of Virginia. I made some subtle changes across Georgia, Tennessee, and West Virginia to include additional locations. Generally, the red region is where I believe tropical storm-force winds (or gusts) and/or flooding will occur. Since Florence is quite large and will slow significantly, that accounts for some of why that region is so large.
Please stayed updated on Firsthand Weather for future updates.