BOSTON (CBS) – We have a major hurricane in the forecast that will hit the southeastern United States by the end of the week. Hurricane Florence is now a Category 2 storm, and is undergoing rapid intensification. The latest track of Florence still shows it making landfall Thursday night as a major hurricane along the North Carolina coastline.
The latest track for Florence still shows it making landfall sometime Thursday afternoon along the Carolina coast as a category 4. Some forecast models indicate that the storm may stall near or along the coast. Others have it moving inland but dumping flooding rain. This is why you have to stay tuned to updates. Nothing is set in stone! In fact, the cone of Uncertainty means there IS UNCERTAINTY. Especially after Tuesday.
By definition from the National Hurricane Center, historical data indicates the storm may stay within the cone 60-70% of the time. A tropical storm is not just a point! The effects from damaging wind/surge/rainfall/etc. can be felt hundreds of miles away from the center of the storm.
Threats To The Southeastern U.S.:
Again, the center of the storm and the eye wall of the hurricane has the most violent wind, but the flood threat from rainfall and storm surge can affect areas hundreds of miles away. As the forecast confidence grows this week we will be able to show where the most severe wind will be, and how high the storm surge could be. Rainfall indications at this time point to 10-20” of rain, isolated 30”. We aren’t certain on the area or if the storm stalls, so this rainfall forecast will be updated.
Threats to New England:
Thursday into Friday our wave heights will be 5-10 feet off shore as the waves from Florence reach southern New England. South facing beaches will have high surf and dangerous rip currents.
There are two other named storms in the Atlantic, and one other tropical wave. The wave is located off Cuba and at this time has a 20% chance of becoming organized in 5 days.
Hurricane Helene will strengthen to a category 2 this week and actually turn out to sea later this week.
Tropical Storm Isaac is also expected to strengthen to a category 2 hurricane this week. It will take a more westerly track, affecting the southern Caribbean.
If you live in the Carolinas, or have friends and family there, please prepare for a major life-threatening hurricane. Helpful information on how to prepare your family, pets, and property for a storm of this magnitude can be found on the FEMA site.
Please follow the WBZ weather team along with other credible sources such as the National Hurricane Center for updates through the week.