Hurricane Florence Heads to Carolinas, Flooding Locally

| September 11, 2018 | 0 Comments | Weather

This morning we are tracking a major Category 4 Hurricane barreling towards the coast of the Carolinas. Currently, Hurricane Florence is a Category 4 Hurricane packing winds of 130 MPH with a pressure of 950 MB heading towards the WNW at approximately 16 MPH.

At this time, anyone living within 50 miles of the coast of South Carolina and North Carolina, as well as the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, you need to prepare now and prepare to evacuate. Hurricane conditions are expected in this region. The exact location of landfall remains to be seen, which is why residents up and down the Carolinas and Virginia should take necessary precautions at this time.

For those outside of the regions listed above, your primary threats will be storm surge. It is expected that the storm surge could move well inland into areas some may consider evacuating to. If you plan to evacuate, you will need to analyze the storm track to ensure you are evacuating to a safe location. It is also important to note that just because the storm doesn’t track directly towards your area, that does not mean you will not see sea level rise.

Storm surge will likely be a threat for those within 30 miles of the coast. For all others, the primary threat will be the rain. In terms of winds, I expect that to be an issue within 100 miles of the coast, but further inland, the heavy and persistent rains will be the greatest threat. More lives are taken as a result of flooding than any other weather-related disaster. Flooding rains are expected to impact regions well inland including some regions as far west as Interstate 81. The current thinking is that North Carolina will see the worst of the rains, as well as areas in and around Roanoke, Virginia. Roanoke may not see as much rain, but the mountainous terrain could cause catastrophic flooding for much of that region.

Locally, I am expecting rain, but honestly, the exact amount of rain is uncertain. If this storm stalls out over North Carolina, Northern Virginia could be spared much of the storm, and we could literally see barely half an inch of rain. If this storm tracks even slightly north, and possibly into the Norfolk region, then our rainfall totals increase drastically. I will not post rainfall totals in this article, but please prepare for a worst-case scenario of about 2 feet of rain.

Please stay tuned to Bristow Beat and The Bristow Weather Association for continuing coverage of Hurricane Florence.

My favorite thing to do is study the weather. It is truly fascinating. Nothing beats a good thunderstorm. I became very interested in weather when I lived in Okinawa, Japan for four years and was actually inside a super typhoon.

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