11:30 AM CDT | September 9, 2018
Hurricane Florence is strengthening as it tracks into the Western Atlantic. Florence is forecast to intensify into a Major Hurricane by Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center. The official forecast has a peak intensity of a Category 4 Hurricane with 145 mph winds by Wednesday morning. Very slight weakening to 140 mph winds are forecast by Thursday morning with winds of 100 mph after landfall Friday morning. The current forecast has it making landfall in North Carolina late Thursday night/early Friday morning.
People along the East Coast, particularly from the Carolinas into the Mid-Atlantic, should pay close attention to this tropical system over the next several days. There is still a good deal of uncertainty, mainly in regards to the forecast track. While most models show a progressive system making landfall, there are a few outliers that suggest that this system could slow and linger near the coast. Residents near the coast should be preparing for impacts next week. Here is an excerpt from the National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City, North Carolina:
"Confidence continues to increase that Tropical Cyclone Florence will have a significant impact on the Carolinas during the second half of the week, with the official forecast from the National Hurricane Center calling for the system to be a Major Hurricane as it approaches the Carolina Coast. Florence should be taken very seriously. There is still time to complete preparations and plans. While it remains too early to pin down exact impacts, timing, and locations, storms of this magnitude bring the threat of storm surge, damaging winds, rainfall flooding, and tornadoes."
I usually do not discuss weather outside our region, but with the potentially significant impacts expected for other parts of the country, I did want to discuss it. If you have friends or family along or near the East Coast, please make sure they are aware. For the latest official tropical weather information, please visit the National Hurricane Center's website.