Hurricane Florence: Updates, Information, Tracking
Hurricane Florence Latest Updates
9/17/2018 (11:00 AM)
The Cape Fear River has been infected with toxic sewage waters. The river reaches a flood stage at 35 feet, however, current predictions have the water rising to over 65 feet.
The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority had two generators fail, which allowed over 5 million gallons of partially treated sewage water to flow into the streets and Cape Fear River.
9/14/2018 (3:18 AM)
At least 150 people are waiting for emergency services to rescue them from ravaging flood waters in New Bern, North Carolina. The people are trapped in at least 10 feet of flood waters.
The flooding in New Bern has been absolutely catastrophic (as expected).
Breaking: Massive storm surge affects New Bern, North Carolina. 200 people have been rescued and at least 150 others are awaiting rescue. (Video via Amy Johnson) pic.twitter.com/TCKLBKdwyF
— PM Breaking News (@PMBreakingNews) September 14, 2018
Rescue missions has been working throughout the day to rescue those who are trapped.
Video shows storm surge from Hurricane #Florence begin to inundate New Bern, North Carolina as the Neuse River overflowed its banks and flooded parts of the town. https://t.co/4p1JzVCrLz pic.twitter.com/k7pmZkRDqc
— ABC News (@ABC) September 14, 2018
9/13/2018 (11:40 AM)
A massive (and earlier than expected) storm surge is beginning to inundate the North Carolina coast as powerful Hurricane Florence makes her approach. Power outages are already being reported in the area. Power trucks are reportedly attempting to get into areas before the storm overtakes the coastline.
Here’s a live look at the current storm surge situation off of North Carolina’s coast.
Hurricane Florence’s wind field on the northwest side (known as the “dirty side”) is 250 miles in scale yeilding 90 MPH winds. That massive wind field is helping to pile up waters in the Atlantic and shove them ashore in the North Carolina.
“Frying Pan” cam is located 34 miles out to sea. It gives you a good idea of the sheer power that’s pushing the surge onto the land.
This is a live view of North Topsail Beach, North Carolina. You can see the surge starting to fill in over the beach.
9/13/2018 (9:40 AM)
Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a Category 2 storm, however, this hardly makes its circumstances a less dangerous experience.
- Sustained winds: 110 MPH
- Stronger gusts: 130 MPH
- Speed: 12 MPH (expect this number to tail off)
- Pressure: 957 MB (this is up from the previous day’s 945 MB, which is consistent with the storm’s reduced winds)
- Landfall timing: Tonight/Tomorrow in Carolinas. It will nudge south and target portions of Georgia
The size, which is now taking up as much real estate as both Carolinas combined, alongside the slowing speed, is certain to cause widespread damage.
The outer banks of North Carolina were already feeling tropical storm force winds at 8 am this morning. Up to 40 inches of rain is expected in parts of North Carolina.
9/12/2018 (2:06 PM)
The state of Georgia has declared a state of emergency by Gov. Nathan Deal. This is a direct result of Hurricane Florence’s more southerly path I reported on this morning during the 10:32 AM update.
Earlier, President Trump Tweeted about the new shift in Hurricane Florence’s path, warning that Georgians prepare for the worst.
Hurricane Florence remains a Category 4 hurricane and is expected to stall once it reaches the coast.
9/12/2018 (10:32 AM)
Hurricane Florence continues to make its way towards the Carolinas.
Here are the notable changes per the last 8 AM update.
Hurricane Florence made a turn towards the southwest (but only slight). However, slight turns with massive-scale hurricanes often mean large consequences.
The southwest shift means that more of the coastline and inland will be exposed to hurricane conditions. This means more flooding and wind damage penetrating the coastline. It also means a broader swath of coastline being susceptible to increased storm surge and hurricane conditions.
Today, Hurricane Florence will pass between Bermuda and the Bahamas.
Tropical storm conditions are extending 175 miles away from Florence’s eyewall. This means the Carolinas should begin to experience Tropical Storm conditions tomorrow morning.
The full wrath of Hurricane Florence will arrive on Friday.
The hurricane is still expected to slow down when it hits the coastline and even shift south a bit. The consequences of this stall will result in feet of rain in many areas and much longer exposure to potentially Category 3 or 4 winds.
Hurricane force winds may lash the region for a full day’s worth of time.
There is very little time to evacuate left.
Yesterday, officials turned many roads, including the main route from Charlotte to Charleston (I-26) into 4 westward lanes. The I-26 lane reversals are an attempt to get more people out of the Charleston and coastal areas.
Charleston is likely to get hit hard as well. The new Hurricane Florence track means a more direct path through Charleston. This will likely amount to potentially category 1 force winds and large amounts of rain.
9/11/2018 (9:39 am)
9/11/2018 (9:39 am) – Hurricane Florence’s eyewall mildly collapsed late last night. However, that’s only serving as an imminent sign that the eyewall will rebuild, restrengthen, and take Florence to the next level of power.
It is typical for hurricanes to lose a little energy at times. Unfortunately, with a lack of wind shear and extremely warm waters, Hurricane Florence is likely to strengthen greatly.
The Carolinas are now most likely to feel the impacts of a Category 4 or 5 Hurricane starting late Thursday. This will bring a life-threatening storm surge and ferocious winds and rains. Tropical storm force winds should arrive as early as Wednesday night.
Hurricane Florence – 8 AM stats
Pressure – 950 MB. The pressure is slightly up from yesterday, this was a result of the eyewall breaking down. That pressure will drop again throughout today. The lower the pressure, the more defined the eyewall, the more powerful the hurricane.
Winds 130 MPH.
Moving WNW at 15 MPH. This is the main issue. 15 MPH isn’t a bad speed, but unfortunately, once Hurricane Florence interacts with the coast, the high-pressure ridge is going to force it to slow down. It may slow down by half or more. This is going to create a catastrophic exposure to intense winds, rains, and storm surge.
Supplies Are Out At Most Stores
If you’ve waited to get supplies and plan to hunker down, you might be in trouble. Reports are surfacing that most stores along the eastern seaboard, most notably the Carolinas, are now out of life-sustaining supplies.
If you are without supplies, you should realize that you may be without power for weeks.
The level of freaking out is at an all time high in the 757 😐
— SuziPistolz (@suzipistol) September 11, 2018
It’s important to follow the instructions of local officials. If you are asked to evacuate, you need to leave.
If you live in Wilmington, Academy Sports got crates of water in this morning.
— Annabel Bailey (@AnnabelBailey16) September 11, 2018
Emergency help from as far away as Indiana has begun to descend on the Carolinas to help put a post-Florence plan into play.
@IN_Task_Force_1 (Indiana) coming to help with #HurricanefFlorence aftermath. Search and rescue, medical assistance, logistics, etc.
Thank you for your immediate response.
(📸: Ryan Liggett)
•@FOX46News for ALL your storm coverage!#NCWeather @fema pic.twitter.com/VCQSr3FXZF
— Jason Harper (@j_theharper) September 11, 2018
9/10/2018 (12:28 pm)
Hurricane hunters are now reporting sustained winds of 130 MPH at Hurricane Florence’s eyewall. The storm is now upgraded to a dangerous Category 4.
Hurricane Florence may turn into most catastrophic natural disaster in the United States history, pending current projections hold true.
The latest models are showing a ferocious Category 4 making landfall in the Carolinas sometime between Wed and Thur. Florence is likely to carry with her 20 to 30 inches of rainfall.
As it stands, Hurricane Florence is rapidly intensifying over warmer waters in the Atlantic as it approaches the United States eastern seaboard. It is currently 600 miles southeast of Bermuda moving at 9 MPH.
However, Florence is expected to slow down just as it approaches land due to constraints and complications presented by a strong high-pressure ridge sitting just north of it.
A slow moving category 4 Hurricane Florence could cripple the region with record amounts or rainfall and overly expose the region to long durations of intense winds and storm surges.
Anyone living in the region should be prepared to evacuate if asked by officials.
Hurricane Florence is no longer being subjected to critical wind shear which typically serves to either reduce or moderate, the hurricane’s vital eyewall. In this case, Hurricane Florence is now freely growing at an unabated and dangerous scale.
Here’s a look at a wind shear map (I’ve noted the areas where wind shear will be non-existent, you can see prior that wind shear was responsible for breaking Florence down to Tropical Storm category prior).
Unless the high-pressure ridge magically disappears, or wind shear appears (it won’t), this is a recipe for absolute catastrophe.
Hurricane Florence Swells
Large swells are already moving into a number of places along the eastern seaboard. Swells will grow over the next few days as this dangerous hurricane begins its approach to land.
As it stands, there is very little likelihood that Hurricane Florence will drift out to sea. Anyone and everyone from Virginia down to Florida need to be on high alert.
This storm will penetrate deep inland. If you live in Charlotte, you should be prepared to endure a major storm (category 2 or even 3 power). Storm surge will be experienced deep inland as well.
If you live near water, it is important that you understand what effects your home may experience.
Hurricane Florence Latest
The pressure has dropped some, its now down to 969. I’d expect this to continue dropping rapidly as Hurricane Florence’s eyewall continues to become more defined and more impactful.
The wind speed, of course, will potentially increase as much as 80% as the warmer water and essentially non-influential wind shear environment sets up.
Hurricane Florence Track ‘Likely’ But Not ‘Certain’
Hurricane Florence’s steering is a strong high-pressure ridge north of it. The high-pressure ridge will serve to either allow Florence a more northerly track right when it approaches land, or force it due west.
The East coast of the United States should begin prepping for a potential large-scale hurricane. While Hurricane Florence has weakened to tropical storm Florence, this is likely only a temporary state (I’ll explain).
Hurricane Florence is currently located roughly 900 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands. Its track as moved more southerly than originally anticipated, which puts northern Florida and the Carolinas at risk. Obviously, hurricane paths tend to deviate as weather patterns change and that’s likely for Hurricane Florence.
Hurricane Florence rapidly intensified over the course of Monday and Tuesday as it fed off warm Atlantic waters without much in the way of obstacles.
That changed yesterday as Hurricane Florence hit some rather severe wind shear shooting up from the south. Wind shear tends to break up cyclonic weather events because they disrupt the health of the eyewall.
But the wind shear isn’t expected to last and “Hurricane Florence” will eventually settle into some warm, hurricane-ripe waters that should fuel her right back into a potentially deadly hurricane.
Let’s look at Hurricane Florence’s position to ongoing wind shear per weather.com.
This pattern of wind shear will let up sometime in the early part of next week. At that juncture, the race is on between Hurricane Florences speed and the warm waters that will be feeding it.
If Florence gets too slow, she’ll swell up to a powerful category 3. If her speed is higher, the rating will likely be a lot more modest. Faster moving hurricanes spend less time over warm water, which slows growth, and also spend less time dumping rain on areas they encounter, decreasing flash flooding and exposure to heavy rainfall.
Now, let’s have a look at the Weather.com cone.
I’ve marked some red arrows to show where Hurricane Florence is likely to be stationed when the protective wind shear releases. This is the spot that Hurricane Florence could reignite her once relatively organized eyewall.
As it stands, Hurricane Florence is only moving at 8 MPH. That could be a recipe for a potentially large hurricane, all things being equal.
Bermuda is currently spared in the NWS track, but that could change. Any move north and Bermuda could get slammed with heavy rain and moderately powerful wind as early as Tuesday.
Hurricane Florence Potential United States Impacts
There’s a high-pressure ridge that’s just above Hurricane Florence that’s steering her. That high-pressure ridge will make or break the predicted path. High pressure is a typical steering obstacle for most hurricanes coming up the Atlantic en route to the United States eastern seaboard.
The strength and movement of the high-pressure ridge will determine how far north or how far west Hurricane Florence moves. If the high-pressure system is weak, this will allow Florence to move northerly.
All Atlantic hurricanes want to move north.
If the high-pressure ridge is strong enough, Hurricane Florence will keep westward until it finds a weakness in the high-pressure system, or just flat out goes around it. The stronger the high pressure, the most likely it is that Hurricane Florence lands on the doorsteps of northern Florida, Georgia. If the high-pressure system has some give, that’s bad news for the Carolinas.
The size of the high-pressure system is just as relevant as the strength of it. If the high-pressure system is smaller, Hurricane Florence can turn northerly and move towards the Carolinas.
There is a possible scenario whereas Hurricane Florence floats off to sea, but that’s super unlikely.
Hurricane Florence could also drift further north towards New Jersey. That’s not super unlikely, but its not incredibly likely, either.
All eastern seaboard residents need to go into their Hurricane prepper modes. Here are a few notes:
Get supplies like water, food
Make sure your car has a full tank of gas (go do that now)
Understand hurricane evacuation routes in your area
Read our Hurricane Survival Guide
Flooding is the leading natural disaster death in the United States. When it comes to Hurricanes, it is typically the water, not the wind, that will harm you. Pay special attention to flood prone zones in your area.
Remember, a hurricane will push water in front of it which results in the tidal surge. If you are anywhere near the ocean, this is a major concern for you and your family.
Take no chances. If officials suggest or demand you evacuate, get out.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.