STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARED IN NORTH CAROLINA AS HURRICANE FLORENCE EXPECTED TO HIT NEXT WEEK
Tropical Storm Florence drew closer to the East Coast overnight and was expected to reach hurricane strength Sunday -- possibly becoming a major hurricane thereafter.
The approaching storm prompted North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper to declare a state of emergency, a step that makes resources available for addressing the storm's effects.
The storm was expected to bring heavy rain, dangerous surf and rip currents to North Carolina, where Cooper called on residents, specifically farmers, to make preparations.
“While it’s still too early to know the storm’s path, we know we have to be prepared,” Cooper said in a news release. “During harvest, time is of the essence. Action today can avoid losses due to Florence.”
Cooper signed a transportation waiver that would allow farmers to harvest and transport their crops more quickly.
“The executive order will help gather and move crops in and through the state more easily and quickly in response to problems that could be caused by Tropical Storm Florence in North Carolina and along the East Coast,” the governor's statement said.
Cooper said that emergency management officials were working with local and federal officials to prepare for “possible impacts” from Florence.
"We are entering the peak of hurricane season and we know well the unpredictability and power of these storms," Cooper said.
Along similar lines, South Carolina's Emergency Management Division was advising coastal residents to start making contingency plans.
"The risk of other direct impacts associated with Florence along the U.S. East Coast next week has increased. However, there is still very large uncertainty in model forecasts of Florence's track beyond day (five), making it too soon to determine the exact location, magnitude, and timing of these impacts," hurricane specialist Robbie Berg wrote in a forecast advisory.
Hurricane Florence will likely make U.S. landfall Thursday of next week or later if the storm's track continues. Tropical storm impact could arrive along the East Coast by Wednesday.
The first major hurricane of the 2018 season, the National Hurricane Center said Florence will likely regain major hurricane strength in three days and may get even stronger from that point as it approaches the U.S. East Coast, with a possible landfall in the mid-Atlantic as a powerful and dangerous storm.
“The new NHC intensity forecast has been increased over the previous advisory in anticipation of these very favorable dynamical conditions developing, and now shows Florence becoming a hurricane by Sunday and a major hurricane in 3 days, followed by additional strengthening…”
In the last 2 hours National Hurricane Center have issued this update.
The National Hurricane Center said in its latest forecast update that the U.S. East Coast is now at greater risk for direct impact.
“The risk of other direct impacts associated with Florence along the U.S. East Coast next week has increased,” the NHC said. “However, there is still very large uncertainty in model forecasts of Florence's track beyond day 5, making it too soon to determine the exact location, magnitude, and timing of these impacts.
LATEST FORECAST FROM THE NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER
Tropical Storm Florence Discussion Number 36
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL062018
500 AM AST Sat Sep 08 2018
Although Florence remains a sheared tropical cyclone, satellite
imagery during the past 6 h also indicates that the shear has
started to abate somewhat, which has allowed the dense cirrus
canopy to build back over the previously exposed low-level
circulation center. Furthermore, deep convection with overshooting
cloud tops near -80C and an abundance of lightning activity have
developed very close to the center. Based on these data along with
Dvorak intensity estimates of T3.5/55 kt from TAFB and SAB, the
initial intensity has been raised to 55 kt.
The initial motion estimate is 265/8 kt. The mid-latitude flow
across CONUS and the northern Atlantic is forecast to flatten out
and become more zonal over the next 48 h or so, resulting in the
development of a narrow east-west oriented ridge along 35/36N
latitude. This large-scale feature is expected to steer Florence
in a general westward direction during that time. By days 3-5,
however, the flow across the central and western U.S. is forecast
to buckle and become more meridional as a deep mid-/upper-level
trough over the northeast Pacific pushes inland over the western
U.S., causing downstream ridging over the northeastern U.S. and
northwestern Atlantic. The global models agree on this general
change in the synoptic-scale flow pattern, but they differ
noticeably on where a downstream mid-/upper-level high pressure cell
takes up residence over the Atlantic either to the northwest or
northeast of Bermuda. The farther west/east the high develops will
determine how far west/east Florence will eventually move and
possibly affect the U.S. east coast beyond the 5-day forecast
period. The new official forecast track is close to the previous
advisory track through 48 h, and then was nudged a little to the
left or west of the previous track, which is close to the consensus
model TVCN and is north of the corrected-consensus models FSSE and
HCCA since the bulk of the NHC model guidance lies north of those
latter two models.
The upper-level environment is expected to improve to significantly
during the next 12 h and beyond with the current 20 kt of
southwesterly shear forecast to give way to shear of less than 10
kt. By 72 h and beyond, light shear from the southeast and east
along with the development of strong upper-level outflow jets to
the north of Florence is expected to create an environment that
favors significant and possibly even rapid strengthening. The new
NHC intensity forecast has been increased over the previous advisory
in anticipation of these very favorable dynamical conditions
developing, and now shows Florence becoming a hurricane by Sunday
and a major hurricane in 3 days, followed by additional
strengthening over the very warm Atlantic waters of at least 29 deg
C that are about 2 deg C above normal right now. The consensus
models IVCN and HCCA were closely followed, which are a little
below the FSSE model.
1. Regardless of Florence's eventual track, large swells are
affecting Bermuda and will begin to affect portions of the U.S.
East Coast this weekend, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip
2. The risk of other direct impacts associated with Florence along
the U.S. East Coast next week has increased. However, there is
still very large uncertainty in model forecasts of Florence's track
beyond day 5, making it too soon to determine the exact location,
magnitude, and timing of these impacts. Interests near and along
the U.S. East Coast should monitor the progress of Florence through
the weekend and ensure they have their hurricane plans in place.