Florence Afternoon Update

We’re now getting significant impacts on the outer banks, the core of Florence is fully within the range of radar and rain bands are coming ashore with gusty winds.  Remember that I do research in to natural (and anthropogenic) hazards, and data is key.  We have an amazing amount of data now to study landfalling hurricanes in real time.  Here’s a cool overlay using the AWIPS II workstation, showing radar, high resolution satellite, and wind data …

Conditions on the coast are rapidly deteriorating.  Unfortunately, given the slow motion of barely 5 mph if that, it will take its time coming ashore, so it will have plenty of time to batter North Carolina with waves, storm surge, wind, and rain.  These conditions are likely to continue for the next 48 hours or so, 3 or 4 times the usual duration of adverse conditions in a hurricane.

A big concern with any landfalling storm that slows down and stops is rain. Hard to forget Harvey!  Here is the current precipitation total map from HPC.  Totals in that white blob are amazing – upwards of 30 inches! That will potentially cause some epic inland flooding …

Here is the latest NHC forecast track and damage swath.  Not that different from previous forecasts …

Damage is likely to total over $ 10 Billion dollars for the “hurricane” part of the storm.  The inland flooding is another story.  It could easily add another $5 to $10 Billion, depending on what floods and how bad.

There are still wobbles and people are still wildly speculating on the future of this storm, especially for points south of the northern SC coast.  As usual, I urge folks to keep cool and follow the official NHC forecasts.  The storm may skirt the coast a bit before final landfall, and the next 24 hours may be nerve wracking, but by far the most likely scenario is the storm will enter over far southern NC, cross northern SC, and break up this weekend …

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