Dangerous Florence Heading Toward U.S. East Coast

Florence is a dangerous hurricane and heading toward the U.S. East Coast. Over the last couple of hours, it has grown in size and tropical-storm-force winds extend 175 miles out from the center. Hurricane-force-winds extend 70 miles out from the center. That is why it is important to realize that significant impacts will extend well away from the center of Florence, and serious hazards such as life-threatening flooding from heavy rains and storm surge will cover a large area regardless of where the center moves.

Tropical storm winds will reach the coast on Thursday morning and hurricane winds by the evening. On the forecast track, the center will make landfall as a major storm around North or South Carolina. Then slowly move inland where it will meander for a few days gradually weakening. In the meantime, models are trending higher in terms of rainfall amounts. Some areas could receive 20-30 inches of rain with isolated amounts of 40 inches for North Carolina, Virginia and Northern South Carolina. Storm surge could range between 6 to 13 feet.

However, as Florence nears the U.S. East Coast large swells will build and affect the Northern coast of Florida. Higher seas will be possible for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade from Thursday and peaking on Saturday.

Isaac is slightly weaker and likely to move across the Central Lesser Antilles on Thursday. Once it is over the Caribbean Sea, more weakening is expected. Lots of wind shear ahead could tear it apart. For now, a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius.

Helene is still a hurricane and moving over cooler waters of the Eastern Atlantic Ocean. Gradual weakening is expected and it could brush the Azores as a tropical storm on Sunday.

Rest of the tropics:

Cloudiness and showers associated with a broad area of low pressure over the South-Central Gulf of Mexico have decreased since yesterday. Recon mission to investigate area has been cancelled for this afternoon. Conditions are still expected to become favorable over in the Western Gulf of Mexico, where it could still form into a depression on Thursday or Friday. Regardless of development, heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected across portions of Northeastern Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana late week, and these areas should monitor the progress of this system. The National Hurricane is giving it a medium chance of 60% in developing through the next 2 days.

A non-tropical area of low pressure several hundred miles West-Southwest of the Azores could acquire sub-tropical or tropical characteristics during the next few days and has a medium chance of 50% in developing before it gets absorbed by a front.

Right now there is nothing close to Bermuda, but an area of low pressure is expected to develop near the area late this weekend or early next week. It has a low chance of 20% to form through the next 5 days.

Keep it tuned to your Storm Station for the latest and don’t forget to download the 7 Weather App.!

Vivian Gonzalez

Meteorologist, AMS Certified

WSVN Channel 7