Meteorologist's Reaction to Hurricane Florence: 'Wow'

Muriel Hammond
September 11, 2018

The storm is already 500 miles wide - meaning a large area will be at risk when it nears land.

Hurricane Florence is getting stronger and moving faster as it heads towards the US Atlantic seaboard. To the west, a tropical disturbance has developed over the northwest Caribbean Sea. There is at least a five percent chance of tropical storm-force winds in Northeast Florida, though the storm is predicted to track farther north.

A mandatory evacuation will start at noon Tuesday for eight coastal counties, McMaster said in a press conference Monday afternoon.

The hurricane center said the storm is expected to strengthen and speed up as it approaches the Carolina coast in the coming days.

Meteorologist Eric Holthaus had a three-letter reaction to the news that Hurricane Florence is now a category 4 storm with 115mph winds and higher gusts. The northernmost landfall was made by Hazel, a devastating and deadly storm that struck close to the South Carolina/North Carolina border in October of 1954. It is expected to approach the southeastern US coast on Thursday.

Hurricane-force winds could buffet the Carolinas by Wednesday night with landfall likely in SC and North Carolina on Thursday, followed by heavy rains that could cause flooding in much of the U.S. Southeast, the NHC said. The state's emergency management agency said it is "preparing for the possibility of a large-scale disaster".

The eye of the storm is expected to fall on Wilmington, North Carolina. He also provided helpful pre- and post-storm tips to keep in mind to help keep you and your family safe.

It had maximum winds of 85mph with higher gusts, with tropical storm force winds extending up to 125 miles from the storms centre. Since reliable record-keeping began more than 150 years ago, North Carolina has only been hit by one Category 4 hurricane: Hazel, with 210 km/h winds in 1954.

It's far too early to speculate about potential industry losses for the insurance, reinsurance and ILS sector at this time, but by late Sunday or Monday a clearer picture of the eventual track hurricane Florence will take should have emerged. It is a Category 2 storm with winds of 105 miles per hour.

A very unsafe situation ahead this week for parts of the East Coast.

Heavy rain in the Washington area over the weekend has already led to flooding in historic Alexandria, Virginia, local media reported, and the National Weather Service issued a flood watch for part of the Potomac River.

"Further strengthening is anticipated, and Florence is expected to be an extremely unsafe major hurricane through Thursday", the National Hurricane Center said. "Some gradual weakening is possible on Tuesday", the advisory says, "but Olivia will likely remain a threat to the Hawaiian Islands next week".

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