Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sci-tech | By April Francis

Hurricane Florence latest forecast could still mean tropical impacts for Middle Georgia

Hurricane Florence latest forecast could still mean tropical impacts for Middle Georgia

Hurricane Florence is raging toward the East Coast of the United States.

The National Hurricane Center said early Friday that a gauge in Emerald Isle, North Carolina, recently reported 6.3 feet (1.92 meters) of inundation. GOES-East is one many satellites in orbit tracking the hurricane as it approaches the Carolinas.

The first tropical-storm-strength winds are now expected to hit on Thursday at 2 p.m. and last throughout the weekend.

Forecasters said conditions would only get more lethal when the storm smashed ashore early on Friday near the North Carolina-South Carolina line and crawled slowly inland.

"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".

Its forward movement slowed to 12 miles per hour and top sustained winds stayed at 110 miles per hour.

If you've ever wanted to experience a hurricane from the safety of your screen, now's the chance! The category ranking of storms only describes the speed of the storm's sustained winds. "It's chilling, even from space", said Gerst.

Hurricane Florence is not expected to make landfall until Friday morning but residents in coastal areas are already losing power as gusts lash the eastern edge of North Carolina.

A buoy off the North Carolina coast recorded waves almost 30 feet high as Florence churned toward shore.

But the storm still carried "very risky winds", the Center added.

A tornado watch was also in effect for parts of North Carolina. "The storm surge forecast associated with this storm has not changed".

But that, combined with the storm's slowing forward movement and heavy rains, had Gov. Roy Cooper warning of an impending disaster.

The National Hurricane Center said the storm's strength should continue through Thursday. Hurricane-force winds extended 130 kilometers from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds up to 315 kilometers.

The storm is also predicted to bring historic rainfall of up to 35 inches to the Wilmington region. Restoring power to all customers could take weeks, it said.

It said the additional declaration would bring more federal help with debris removal, search and rescue teams, meals and generators, among other items.

"It certainly is a challenge forecasting precise impacts when its exact track won't be known until a day in advance", Landsea said: There's "a huge difference" in the size and type of damage Florence inflicts if it stays 50 miles off shore versus heading inland immediately. "We're about to be in the thick of it".

Because it has it all, including: Hot ocean temperatures that fuel hurricanes; favourable wind patterns; higher sea levels that exacerbate storm surge;cloud cover that could encompass multiple states; and an unusual combination of other weather systems that likely will stall Florence when it hits land, allowing it to sit for days and dump huge amounts of rain.

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