Posted: 4:01 pm Tuesday, September 11th, 2018
By Kirk Mellish
My vacation is being cut off and I return to the radio live starting tomorrow morning.
Meanwhile, I wanted to highlight some things about Florence some are new developments some are a reiteration of points made in prior blog posts that bare repeating.
This is not a full update, that will come tomorrow.
* If Florence reaches Cat 5 on its current path it will be historic as no other recorded storm has done so on that kind of path that far north. Not as strong but hurricane Five in 1906 approached on a similar rare path before dissipating in Tennessee.
* The “landfall location” is JUST A POINT, major impacts occur 100s of miles away from that point!!
* For example lets pretend Florence was in the lower Midwest, check out the size:
* Rain matters not just wind:
* Power outages will occur not just where the worst winds are but elsewhere because of saturated soils and terrain effects, this ESTIMATED power outage will change frequently in days ahead for better or worse:
* The earliest arrival time for tropical storm for winds in the U.S. is late Wednesday, more likely Thursday. So tomorrow is last chance to prepare.
* Some late Geostorm ensemble track guidance has some potential wrinkles in showing slowing and sharp West turn at landfall into northern SC before remnant low ends up North to Ohio, the slowing could also allow for weakening. (one product, not official forecast). Something to consider. Even if so, the coastal carolinas would still be in for up to 24 hours of hurricane force wind gusts. Also adds more GEORGIA RISK of some impact entire state. I note that the UKMET model is similar, it performed well last year.
* The long term ongoing trend for more ridging north of Florence lends credence to idea that near or after landfall it stalls and/or goes more West instead of north.
* Underscoring that we just dont know for sure yet where the eye will go the latest deterministic ECMWF shows track forecasting is hard and depicts an offshore stall before moving inland further south then looping North #Atlanta #Georgia (likely no, off the table no):
* South Carolina/Georgia still not off the hook yet. Shows the importance of not jumping to conclusions days in advance and of PLANNING if you’re anywhere NEAR such a storm by which I mean adjacent state! Demonstrates why untrained general public and amateurs should not post things/maps on social media they don’t understand. And no single model is ever gospel. Be ready in case things change.
* Landfall near the NC/SC border as Cat 3 still seems most probable scenario. Some hint at a little lessening of risk for VA at least on winds but still a concern, and a little growing risk for GA. But stick to official forecasts and local advice for now.
* Exactly where Florence drifts after landfall and how long it meanders will determine who gets the most rain and how much, those details are tbd.
* Regardless of category level inland heavy rain and flooding are a major concern, if it stalls and IF orographic lift gets involved in the mountains then 2-3 feet rain could be measured in spots. Harvey like rains from Texas last year are an example, but details unknown for Florence as of now.
“Flo” is impressive:
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