The latest report from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) indicates that Hurricane Florence is on the verge of becoming a monster storm, which strengthened rapidly overnight as it continued to gain strength over the Atlantic, 625 miles southeast of Bermuda.
Florence had maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and was moving west-northwest at nine mph, making it a Category 2 hurricane, the NHC said. An increase in maximum sustained wind speed is expected over the next several days, as government officials from the Carolinas to the Mid-Atlantic on Monday were preparing for a direct hit later this week.
“Rapid strengthening is forecast, and Florence is forecast to become a major hurricane this morning and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday,” the NHC said.
Over the weekend, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency in anticipation of a direct hit. The declaration allows the state to use the National Guard for preparations and to aid in search and recovery operations in the aftermath. North Carolina and Virginia have taken similar measures.
Hurricane #Florence update
• Increasing risk of life-threatening impacts: storm surge at coast, flooding inland
• Dangerous winds could down trees & cause power outages
• Landfall may be Thurs. If slows after landfall may cause heavier rain & winds.
Stay tuned for #ncwx pic.twitter.com/YIN6OLA1KC
— NC Emergency Managem (@NCEmergency) September 10, 2018
“Somebody is going to suffer devastating damage if this storm continues as it is currently forecast,” Dan Miller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Columbia, told The State newspaper.
Meteoroglists have said it is still too early to predict Florence’s path exactly but warned that many computer models point to a direct hit in the Carolinas by Thursday.
Hurricane Florence Model Track Guidance:
What are meteorologists tweeting?
“The leftward solution from the most reliable ECMWF model for Hurricane Florence is centered just south of SC|NC border. The actual landfall point will matter but large size of storm means coast from Charleston, SC to NC Outer Banks should prepare for hurricane conditions,” said Ryan Maue, meteorologist @weatherdotus.
The landfall location of Hurricane #Florence is still uncertain to 100-200 miles. Complicating will be very SLOW movement Thurs-Fri exacerbating extreme rainfall.
GFS model (reliable thru 5-days) is a rightward solution over NC.
— Ryan Maue | weathermodels.com (@RyanMaue) September 10, 2018
“Florence is heading for the Carolinas. Florence will likely be a major hurricane. This is happening folks. If you or anyone you know is in the path of this storm, preparations need to be completely finished by Wednesday,” said Ed Valle, meteorologist Vallee Wx Consulting.
#Florence is heading for the Carolinas. Florence will likely be a major hurricane. This is happening folks. If you or anyone you know is in the path of this storm, preparations need to be completely finished by Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/VX2xVJy9eJ
— Ed Vallee 🌽 Vallee Wx Consulting 🌾 (@EdValleeWx) September 10, 2018
“Hurricane Florence is still on track to make landfall in North Carolina on Thursday as a Category 4 — becoming the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall north of South Carolina,” said meteorologist Eric Holthaus.
OK you guys, my intention is not to scare anyone with this message.
But Hurricane #Florence—the storm bound for North Carolina—is going to be about the size of North Carolina when it arrives.
This is what it will look like, according to the latest high-res model prediction: pic.twitter.com/B8vCm3FDi6
— Eric Holthaus (@EricHolthaus) September 10, 2018
As shown above, the spaghetti model projections are unanimously showing the storm will be unusually intense and slow-moving — two attributes that indicate its destructive potential, said Axios. While Florence is a Category 2 storm Monday morning, forecasters expect the storm to rapidly intensify to a Category 4 or possibly even Category 5 hurricane as it moves toward the East Coast.
Hurricane Florence may end up being the worst natural disaster in recorded history for the Carolinas and Virginia. 3 to 4 feet of rain, IF predictions hold! BIG news week developing…
— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) September 10, 2018
“This storm will bring a wide array of hazards to the East Coast, and residents of the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic region, including the Washington, D.C., area, are being urged to prepare for a potentially life-threatening event featuring damaging winds that could last for a long duration along with coastal and inland flooding. Florence has the potential to be a large hurricane, with impacts felt hundreds of miles from the landfall location,” said Axios.
Two other hurricanes are in the Atlantic Basin and will need to be closely monitored this week. According to Philip Klotzbach (Colorado State University), as per Meteorologist Paul Dorian Perspecta, Inc., this is the 11th year on record that the Atlantic Ocean has had 3+ hurricanes simultaneously (Other years were 1893, 1926, 1950, 1961, 1967, 1980, 1995, 1998, 2010, and 2017).
Florence could very well be the “worst natural disaster in recorded history for Carolinas and Virginia,” as many Trump supporters hope the storm shifts a tad north into Washington, D.C. and if not drains the swamp, then at least floods it.