Hurricane Florence’s torrential rains linger over the Carolinas; summery weekend for Minnesota

Hurricane Florence was a category 1 hurricane as it made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina this morning:

Florence is moving very slowly westward, and its torrential rains will linger over the Carolinas into this weekend.

Some areas have already seen one foot of rainfall, with additional rainfall amounts of 10 to 20+ inches possible:

NOAA/National Weather Service   Potential additional rainfall from Florence over the next 5 days

Florence update

Here’s the Friday morning update on Florence, from the National Hurricane Center:

BULLETIN
Hurricane Florence Intermediate Advisory Number 60A…Corrected
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL       AL062018
800 AM EDT Fri Sep 14 2018

Corrected direction from Myrtle Beach in Summary section

Corrected movement from WNW to W in Summary section

…FLORENCE MAKES LANDFALL NEAR WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH NORTH CAROLINA…
…LIFE-THREATENING STORM SURGES AND HURRICANE-FORCE WINDS
CONTINUE…
…CATASTROPHIC FRESHWATER FLOODING EXPECTED OVER PORTIONS OF NORTH
AND SOUTH CAROLINA…

SUMMARY OF 800 AM EDT…1200 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…34.1N 77.9W
ABOUT 10 MI…15 KM S OF WILMINGTON NORTH CAROLINA
ABOUT 65 MI…105 KM NE OF MYRTLE BEACH SOUTH CAROLINA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…90 MPH…150 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 260 DEGREES AT 6 MPH…9 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…958 MB…28.29 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

None.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
* South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico
Rivers

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
* South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
* Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
* North of Duck North Carolina to Cape Charles Light Virginia
* Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort
* Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

Interests elsewhere in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states
should monitor the progress of Florence.miles/hr

A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening
inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline. For
a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather
Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at
hurricanes.gov.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-
threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the
coastline.

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 24
hours.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
within the watch area.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
expected somewhere within the warning area.

For storm information specific to your area, including possible
inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your
local National Weather Service forecast office.

DISCUSSION AND OUTLOOK
———————-
At 800 AM EDT (1200 UTC), the center of the eye of Hurricane
Florence was located by NOAA Doppler weather radars and surface
observations to be just inland near latitude 34.1 North, longitude
77.9 West. Florence is moving toward the west near 6 mph (9 km/h). A
slow westward to west-southwestward motion is expected today through
Saturday. On the forecast track, the center of Florence will move
further inland across extreme southeastern North Carolina and
extreme eastern South Carolina today and Saturday.  Florence will
then move generally northward across the western Carolinas and the
central Appalachian Mountains early next week.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 90 mph (150 km/h) with higher
gusts.  Gradual weakening is forecast later today and tonight.
Significant weakening is expected over the weekend and into early
next week while Florence moves farther inland.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from
the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195
miles (315 km).  A wind gust to 105 mph (169 km/h) recently occurred
at the Wilmington Airport, an Amateur Radio operator in Kirkland
recently reported a wind gust to 98 mph (158 km/h), and a wind gust
of 95 mph (153 km/h) was also recently reported by a Weatherflow
private weather station at Federal Point.

The minimum central pressure estimated from surface data from the
NOAA NOS observing site at Johnny Mercer Pier in Wrightsville Beach
is 958 mb (28.29 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND
———————-
STORM SURGE:  The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
rising waters moving inland from the shoreline.  The water has the
potential to reach the following heights above ground…

Cape Fear NC to Cape Lookout NC…7-11 ft, with locally higher
amounts in the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo, and Bay Rivers
Cape Lookout NC to Ocracoke Inlet NC…6-9 ft
South Santee River SC to Cape Fear NC…4-6 ft
Ocracoke Inlet NC to Salvo NC…4-6 ft
Salvo NC to Duck NC…2-4 ft
Edisto Beach SC to South Santee River SC…2-4 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of
onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and
destructive waves.  Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over
short distances.  For information specific to your area, please see
products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast
office.

RAINFALL: Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive
rainfall in the following areas…

Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South
Carolina…an additional 20 to 25 inches, with isolated storm totals
of 30 to 40 inches. This rainfall will produce catastrophic flash
flooding and prolonged significant river flooding.

Remainder of South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest
Virginia…5 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches. This rainfall will
produce life-threatening flash flooding.

TORNADOES:  A few tornadoes are possible in eastern North Carolina
today.

SURF:  Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda, portions
of the U.S. East Coast, and the northwestern and central Bahamas.
These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip
current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather
office.

The projected path of the center of Hurricane Florence, from the National Hurricane Center:

NWS National Hurricane Center

Florence is expected to weaken to tropical storm strength on Saturday and curve to the northwest, but it will still be generating flooding rains.

A timely reminder:

Summery in Minnesota

Our stretch of summery weather will continue through this weekend.

Friday afternoon highs should reach the 80s in southern and central Minnesota, with mainly 70s in the northern third of our state.

A similar high temperature pattern is expected on Saturday, but there will probably be some 60s in the far north:

A few spots in southern Minnesota, including the Twin Cities metro area, could touch 90 degrees.

Sunday highs will be mostly in the 80s:

Dew point temps will be in the 60s to around 70 this weekend in about the southern half of Minnesota, so it may feel a bit steamy at times!

Twin Cities high temps will be in the 80s on Monday, followed by lower 70s Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rain chances 

There is a chance of scattered showers and an isolated thunderstorm in central and northern Minnesota this Friday and Friday evening.  The Twin Cities metro area could see a passing shower.

The best chance of scattered showers and thunderstorms overnight Friday night and on Saturday will be in about the northern half of Minnesota.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s North American Mesoscale forecast model shows the potential rain pattern Friday evening through Saturday evening:

NOAA NAM simulated radar from Friday evening through Saturday evening, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the strength of the signal that returns to the radar, not to the amount of rain.

Programming note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and at 7:35 a.m., 9:35 a.m. and 4:35 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday.