Florence is forecast to be a Major Hurricane as it approaches the East coast of the US. It did briefly reach Category four winds a few days ago, confounding forecasters, but has since been weakened by shear to a tropical storm for now. It should be back to Hurricane strength during tomorrow. There's still some time to go before greater certainty comes as to whether it does make landfall on the East coast of the US and where but it is forecast to be a very dangerous and very destructive Hurricane so erring on the side of caution is wise. There's still time for the forecast track to shift but the window for a benign outcome is narrowing.
North Carolina State of Emergency https://twitter.com/breakingweather/status/1038227298305146880
Florence is better organised but still impacted by drier air. Expected to start rapid intensification in about 24 hours but should be a Hurricane again even before then.
min pressure 995mb, forward movement at 11km/h 7mph. max sustained wind 100km/h 65mph. nhc
Some parts further to the North of the current track at potential landfall have already soaked up a lot of water with increased flooding potential were significant Florence precipitation to fall there.
Still some potential that it could remain just offshore and recurve but most guidance pointing at Florence impacting the SE coast. High confidence of becoming a dangerous major Hurricane.
Latest ECM showing consistency in general track. Beginning to show Florence stall ( or make slow progress ) on the coast which would not be good news, can only imagine the amount of rain it would dump. GFS showing a brush with the coast and a sort of a meandering pirouette before moving off in a NE'ly direction towards Newfounland and up towards Greenland.
As expected, it's starting to strengthen. Tropical Storm Florence is up to 110km/h 70mph max sustained wind with minimum central pressure down to 989mb and moving West 270 at 7km/h. It is still expected to intensify rapidly soon and within about 48 hours be a Major Hurricane. The track is nudged a little North on this run so potentially heading towards the border of North Carolina and South Carolina, both of which have declared a state of emergency.
Entering an environment low in shear and high SST's and higher temperatures in depth ,Florence projected to be a Major Cat 4 Hurricane at landfall ( or near landfall ). See below, the strongest Atlantic tropical storm in two decades forecast by the NHC from 5 days out.
The 06Z SHIPS has southerly shear increasing again over the last 24 hrs before landfall, so hopefully that plus the slither of low ocean heat content and continuing dry mid levels will help temper its intensity by then.
Florence is still a tropical storm but expected to become a Hurricane again today with, as mentioned above, it looking better organised now. Still 989mb. 110km/h moving at 9km/h. The track on five days has it a little North into North Carolina but remember it could still end up quite a distance away from that this far out.
Latest imagery, Florence getting organised. ECM and GFS slight difference on track but both showing Florence stalling just inland or on the coast for 4-5 days .
Sat Loop including lightning.
Hurricane Florence is gaining strength. Maximum Sustained Wind 120km/h 75mph, Minimum Central Pressure 984mb and forward movement 9km/h 6mph.
The track is broadly the same as the previous NHC guidance.
It's forecast to be a Category 4 Hurricane in about 2 days.
There is also a worry that it slows or even stalls at around landfall in five days time and all the flooding implications that go with that.
Virginia has also declared a State of Emergency.
For anyone in the potentially impacted area or for people curious:
Have a few friends in a place called Litchfield south of Myrtle Beach. Think they could escape the worst .
It's too early to tell. While adjustments have been pushing the forecast Florence landfall North it could still come back Southwards again. With the NHC graphic in the opening post, the cone is not the area of impact of the Hurricane, it's the area where the center of Florence might end up being and even that isn't a 100% garauntee, especially almost 5 days out. Here's more information on it: nhc