Hurricane Florence Is Generating 83-Foot Waves in the Atlantic
Hurricane Florence Is Generating 83-Foot Waves in the Atlantic
83-Foot Wave Recorded By Satellite Monitoring Hurricane Florence
15 September, 2018, 00:02
Forecasters said wind speeds have dropped from a high of 140 miles per hour to 110 miles per hour, reducing it from a Category 4 storm to a Category 2, and additional fluctuations and weakening were likely as it swirled toward land.
Weather.com says of the expected storm surges: "A destructive storm surge will accompany the eye coming ashore sometime from Thursday night into Friday or Saturday, and coastal flooding may persist through multiple high tide cycles into this weekend east of the center of Florence".
Though Florence has weakened slightly, it's still a very unsafe storm, and a life-threatening storm surge and rainfall are expected. According to the National Weather Service, the waves are produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction as the storm's motion.
Across several eastern states, residents scrambled to leave as the Category 4 storm, with winds of 225kmh, approached.
Weather Underground meteorology director Jeff Masters said Florence eventually could strike as merely a Category 1 hurricane with winds less than 100 miles per hour, but that's still enough to cause at least $1 billion in damage.
The Michigan-sized storm is set to linger for days and cause catastrophic flooding with up to four feet of rain and 13-foot storm surges. Water kills more people in hurricanes than wind, and he said it will still be an extremely unsafe storm for rain and storm surge. The Wilmington area can now expect 9-to-13-foot storm surges if Florence's peak impact coincides with high tide, Brunswick County coastal areas west of Southport can expect 6-to-9-foot surges. For comparison, Hurricane Irene caused a 7-foot surge in 2011, and Hurricane Hazel caused an 18-foot surge in Calabash and Carolina Shores in 1954.
The storm surge risk will be highest between Southport and Surf City.
The latest predictions also show that, while Florence will pack less powerful winds, it will also slow down, allowing it to drop much more rain on the Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender county areas. The first tropical-storm-strength winds are now expected to hit on Thursday at 2 p.m. and last throughout the weekend.
For now, Wilmington, North Carolina looks like it will receive the highest levels of rainfall of any region from the hurricane.
The latest flash flood predictions for Friday and Saturday.
An area from Virginia Beach to Charleston can also expect closer to 6 inches.
Masters said there's a tug-of-war between two clear skies high pressure systems - one off the coast and one over MI - and the more the Great Lakes one wins, the more southerly Florence will be.
Florence is now been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, is expected to make landfall in the US, Thursday as an "extremely dangerous" hurricane according to the National Hurricane Center.
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For a swath of the North Carolina shore from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, the storm surge could range from 9-13 feet, the NHC said. Communities could lose electricity for weeks, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator Brock Long said.
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Wednesday, the Category 4 storm was about 435 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C., and moving northwest at about 16 mph. Rather than pushing up toward western Virginia, the storm's center is now predicted to move across the middle of SC .
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