UPDATE 2:00 PM MONDAY 9/17
The remnants of Florence will move out of the U.S. by late Tuesday into Wednesday. Most of the heavier rain associated with the storm is now moving through the Mid-Atlantic and away from North and South Carolina. River flooding will be a big issue there through next week.
UPDATE 5:00 PM SUNDAY 9/15
Florence is now a tropical depression. However, the flash flood threat remains over the Carolinas as bands of rain continue from the system. Some areas have already seen 40 inches of rain and could see additional rainfall through tonight. Max winds are now at 35 mph and the system has begun moving north. It is expected to pull away from the region by Monday. The National Hurricane Center has issued their last advisory on Florence.
UPDATE 5:00 PM SATURDAY 9/15
Tropical Storm Florence is moving very very slowly over the Carolinas today dumping torrential rainfall across the region. Some areas have already seen more than 20 inches of rain. Another 10-20 inches is still possible before the storm completely exits the area. Florence is expected to become a tropical depression by Sunday, then eventually move north, northeast by early next week.
UPDATE 11:00 AM FRIDAY 9/14
Hurricane Florence has wind of 80 mph while moving slowly west-southwest at 3 mph. Gradual weakening is expected today and tonight with significant weakening expected over the weekend. Even with winds weakening, freshwater flooding from potentially catastrophic rainfall will continue though the weekend in the Carolinas.
UPDATE 8:00 AM FRIDAY 9/14
Hurricane Florence has officially made landfall near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane with winds of 90 mph. Gradual weakening is forecast but life-threatening storm surge and potentially catastrophic rainfall will continue through the weekend.
UPDATE 5:00 AM FRIDAY 9/14
Category 1 Hurricane Florence is about to make landfall on the coast of North Carolina with life threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds already reported. Sustained winds speeds are holding at 90 mph with higher gusts. Storm surge has already been reported greater than 6 feet along portions of the coast. Gradual weakening is forecast, but Florence is expected to produce catastrophic rainfall in North and South Carolina through the weekend.
UPDATE 11:00 PM THURSDAY 9/13
Hurricane Florence continues to struggle to maintain its intensity and has been downgraded to a category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, moving northwest at 6. The storm is expected to turn west or southwest as it slowly approaches the Carolina coast before making landfall Friday morning.
UPDATE 5:00 PM THURSDAY 9/13
Max winds continue to decrease at this advisory. Now at 100 mph, moving even slower at 5 mph west northwest. Florence has struggled to maintain a defined eye and eye wall today due to dry air and wind shear. Hurricane force winds are getting closer to the outer banks and coastal southeastern North Carolina. Florence is expected to maintain its intensity before making landfall sometime Friday morning. The forecast track is a little further south, however the impacts will be the same - life-threatening storm surge, damaging winds and flooding rain.
UPDATE 11:00 AM THURSDAY 9/13
No major change to Hurricane Florence's track in the 11 AM update with landfall expected early tomorrow as a Category 2 hurricane. Winds are down to 105 mph, but life-threatening storm surge and potentially catastrophic rainfall are still expected regardless of wind speed. Tropical storm force winds continue in the outer banks and coastal southeastern North Carolina with heavy rain bands. Forward speed has slowed to 10 mph and will continue slowing upon approach. Hurricane-force winds extend 80 miles outside of the center of Florence and hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast this evening or tonight.
UPDATE 8:00 AM THURSDAY 9/13
Rain bands have started moving through the outer banks of North Carolina with rounds of rain and Tropical Storm force winds. A tornado watch is in place now through portions of eastern North Carolina as Florence makes its approach. Winds are holding at 110 mph with forward speed slowing to 14 mph and expected to continue slowing today. Conditions will continue to deteriorate through the day with landfall expected late tonight into tomorrow morning.
UPDATE 5:00 AM THURSDAY 9/13
Hurricane Florence is closing in on the Carolinas this morning with the outer rain bands already approaching the coast. Winds are holding at 110 mph, a Category 2 hurricane, with a slight decrease in forward speed. We do expected Florence to continue slowing as it approaches the coastline. On the current track, the center of Florence will reach the North Carolina coast later today, and then track southwest down the coast of South Carolina through Friday. Although Florence is no longer a major hurricane, life-threatening storm surge and rainfall are still forecast through the weekend.
UPDATE 11:00 PM WEDNESDAY 9/12
Florence continues to struggle with wind shear on satellite imagery and while the wind field continues to expand, the storm continues to show signs of weakening. Top winds are now at 110 mph and the storm is moving NW at 17 mph. Florence is still expected to slow down as it approaches land, then drift south before being pulled northward by early next week.
UPDATE 5:00 PM WEDNESDAY 9/12
Latest Hurricane Hunter data shows Florence is weakening, while the wind field continues to expand. As of this advisory, Florence has peak winds of 120 mph and is still a category 3. The storm is still expected to continue moving northwest towards the Carolinas with minor fluctuations in intensity before slowing down and drifting westward as it makes landfall.The storm will then meander over the mid-Atlantic region dumping copious amounts of rain through the weekend.
UPDATE 3:00 PM WEDNESDAY 9/12
Peak winds inside Florence have decreased slightly and the storm has been downgraded to a category 3 with max winds of 125 mph. The size of the wind field has increased and the storm is moving northwest at 16 mph.
UPDATE 11:00 AM WEDNESDAY 9/12
Hurricane hunters found little change with Hurricane Florence, still a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph tracking northwest at 15 mph. Some strengthening is expected through tonight, but wind shear will weaken Florence a little as it approach the coast tomorrow. Despite the potential weakening, Florence is expected to be a dangerous major hurricane through tomorrow night. The track has shifted further west and south through the weekend, indicating a higher threat for significant rainfall through the Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states through the start of next week.
UPDATE 8:00 AM WEDNESDAY 9/12
Hurricane Florence is holding strength as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph moving at 17 mph toward the west-northwest. Additional strengthening is expected today and Florence is expected to remain a dangerous major hurricane upon approach to the Carolina coast. Florence is forecast to slow considerably late Thursday into Friday upon landfall. Significant impacts are expected from damaging winds, life-threatening storm surge, and flooding from rainfall through the weekend.
UPDATE 5:00 AM WEDNESDAY 9/12
Hurricane Florence has weakened slightly with winds of 130 mph, but still a dangerous Category 4 hurricane. Additional strengthening is forecast today with landfall expected Thursday night into Friday morning. There is a noticeable shift in forecast track with models hinting at Florence drifting southwestward into South Carolina after making landfall. This shift means to potential for heavy rain could spread into Georgia this weekend as well. The main threats are still looking like damaging winds, life-threatening storm surge, and potentially catastrophic flooding.
UPDATE 5:00 PM TUESDAY 9/11
Florence has regained strength through the afternoon and now has winds of 140 mph again. It will continue to intensify tonight into Wednesday as it moves toward the Carolinas. Landfall is expected on Friday and the storm could drift southwestward into South Carolina before moving inland. The storm will slow down significantly as it approaches the coast, making the eventual track uncertain. Catastrophic flooding, prolonged and significant wind and storm surge will be likely as the storm batters the coast later this week and weekend.
UPDATE 11:00 AM TUESDAY 9/11
Hurricane Florence still a dangerous Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph. Restrengthening is forecast by later today and Florence is expected to remain a major hurricane as it approaches the Carolina coast by Thursday night. Life-threatening storm surge is possible along the coast of North & South Carolina with damaging winds and significant (potentially catastrophic) flooding. A Hurricane Watch is still in place for portions of South Carolina, up the coast to the border of North Carolina and Virginia.
UPDATE 8:00 AM TUESDAY 9/11
Hurricane hunters found Florence slightly weaker with winds of 130 mph, but still a Category 4 storm with strengthening expected once it completes its eyewall replacement cycle. Florence is expected to remain a dangerous major hurricane as it approaches the U.S. east coast on Thursday with a Hurricane Watch in place from Edisto Beach, South Carolina through the North Carolina-Virginia border. A Hurricane Watch means hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area in the next 48 hours.
UPDATE 5:00 AM TUESDAY 9/11
Florence is holding strength at a Category 4 with winds of 140 mph. On the current track, Florence is set to make landfall somewhere along the Carolina coast Thursday night as a major hurricane. Storm Surge and Hurricane watches have been issued for coastal South & North Carolina.
UPDATE 11:00 PM MONDAY 9/10
Florence has stopped intensifying for the time being as the storm is undergoing an eyewall replacement cycle. Storms this strong tend to undergo structural changes from time to time, and in this case, the old eyewall is being replaced by a new one. When this happens, weakening can occur briefly before the new eyewall contracts and the storm restrengthens. It still has high heat content water to move over in the next 48 hours and the wind shear is light...all favorable for more intensification. The latest forecast track has been shifted east a tad, but the storm is large and impacts will be felt from South Carolina to as far north as Maryland and Delaware. Insane amounts of rain can be expected after the storm makes landfall, as it is forecast to slow down and dump over 30" of rain across parts of Virginia and North Carolina. This will lead to catastrophic flash flooding. Damaging winds will likely affect all of eastern North Carolina southern and eastern Virginia and northeast South Carolina beginning Thursday and continuing through Friday.
UPDATE 5:00 PM MONDAY 9/10
Winds are now up to 140 mph and further strengthening is expected. It could be near or at Cat 5 strength tomorrow or Wednesday. Forecast track has not changed and it still looks like the Carolinas, in particular, North Carolina is in the crosshairs.
UPDATE 12:00 PM MONDAY 9/10
Florence is now a Category 4 with winds of 130 mph. Further intensification is expected and could get close to Cat 5 strength in the coming days.
UPDATE 11:00 AM MONDAY 9/10
Hurricane Florence has rapidly strengthened back to a Category 3 storm with winds of 115 mph. Additional strengthening is forecast, and Florence is expected to remain a dangerous major hurricane through Thursday when it will approach the Carolinas. Florence is moving west at 13 mph with a turn toward the northwest expected late Wednesday night with an increase in forward speed. On the current track, Florence is expected to move through the southwestern Atlantic between Bermuda and the Bahamas in the next 48 hours and then approach the coastal Carolinas by Thursday night.
UPDATE 5:00 AM MONDAY 9/10
Hurricane Florence is rapidly strengthening, back to a Category 2 storm this morning with winds of 105 mph. Strengthening will continue and Florence is expected to be back to a major hurricane by later this morning. Florence is currently moving west-northwest at 9 mph and an increase in forward speed as well as a turn toward the northwest is expected by midweek. On the current track, Florence is expected to approach the Carolinas late Thursday night as a Category 4 hurricane.
UPDATE 5:00 PM SUNDAY 9/9
Florence is looking more impressive on satellite and continues to show signs of strengthening. Florence is expected to rapidly intensify to a category 3 hurricane as early as Monday. Then, Florence could reach cat 4 strength before approaching the Carolinas by Thursday, where a landfalling major hurricane is becoming increasingly likely.
UPDATE 12:00 PM SUNDAY 9/9
Florence continues to intensify and is now back to a hurricane. It will rapidly intensify over the next 24 hours as it moves toward the U.S. East Coast. All interests from South Carolina to the Chesapeake Bay area need to monitor the progress of Florence through the week.
UPDATE 5:00 PM SATURDAY 9/8
Florence is a little stronger but remains a tropical storm as of the latest advisory with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph. Florence is moving west at 5 mph and is expected to continue to strengthen, likely to a hurricane again by later today. Warm water and low wind shear ahead of Florence will allow it to rapidly intensify to a major hurricane as early as Monday as it tracks closer and closer towards the U.S East Coast near the Carolinas.
UPDATE 1:00 PM SATURDAY 9/8
Florence is becoming better organized and will likely become a hurricane again later today or Sunday. Significant intensification is expected over the next few days as it moves over warmer water and lighter wind shear. The threat to the U.S. East Coast has increased substantially with the NHC forecast cone now touching the South Carolina and North Carolina coasts. We will likely see Hurricane Watches issued by early next week for parts of the NC/SC coast in anticipation of the arrival of Florence. It could make landfall as a major hurricane by Thursday/Friday of this week.
FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY
UPDATE 2:00 PM FRIDAY 9/7
Florence is poised to restrengthen this weekend...could become a major hurricane again by early next week. The forecast track is taking it closer to the U.S. East Coast, but it is still too early to say whether there will be significant impacts. Weare also tracking two other tropical systems in the Atlantic that will likely be named soon (Helene and Isaac). Both will be heading west in the coming days.
FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY
UPDATE 11:00 AM FRIDAY 9/7
Weakening has stalled with Florence's winds holding steady at 65 mph while moving west at 8 mph. Little change in intensity is expected for the rest of the day, but restrengthening is still forecast later this weekend. Florence should become a hurricane again by late Saturday or Sunday, and a turn to the west-northwest is expected early next week with an increase in forward speed. The track has shifted further west, but it is still too early to know potential impacts to the east coast of the United States.
UPDATE 5:00 AM FRIDAY 9/7
Tropical Storm Florence has weakened further with winds down to 65 mph moving west at 7 mph. Restrengthening is still forecast this weekend as Florence moves into less a hostile environment with less wind shear and warmer water, and Florence is expected to be a major hurricane once again by the middle of next week. The expected track has started to shift further west, but there is still a great deal of uncertainty about the eventual track.
UPDATE 11:00 PM THURSDAY 9/6
Florence has weakened to a tropical storm as of the 11pm advisory. Strong upper-level wind shear is taking its toll on the storm. The shear is expected to relax by this weekend, and that combined with warmer water temps will lead to restrengthening as it passes near Bermuda. The forecast has been shifted westward as a result of Florence being a weaker storm. Also, the upper air pattern appears to suggest the potential for an east coast threat late next week. There is still a high degree of uncertainty in its eventual track.
UPDATE 5:00 PM THURSDAY 9/6
Florence has been battling more wind shear today and the storm has weakened to a Category 1 as of 5PM. Wind shear is expected to continue for another 24 hours before conditions become more favorable for restrengthening.
UPDATE 11:00 AM THURSDAY 9/6
Hurricane Florence continues to weaken due to upper level wind shear, now down to a Category 2 storm with winds of 105 mph. Additional weakening is still forecast through the end of the week with restrengthening expected over the weekend and Florence takes a turn to the west. An increase in forward speed is expected early next week with a west/northwest movement, but models have yet to come to agreement on track heading into the middle of next week, so U.S. impacts still cannot be ruled out.
UPDATE 5:00 AM THURSDAY 9/6:
Upper level wind shear continues to weaken Florence, with winds down to 115 mph, but still considered a major Category 3 hurricane. Some additional weakening is forecast, but Florence is expected to remain a strong hurricane heading into the weekend while moving northwest at 12 mph. A turn to the west is forecast by the weekend, with long range predictions still uncertain with low model confidence. We do expect Florence to restrengthen early next week, but the eventual track is still unknown, meaning we cannot rule out possible impacts to the U.S. east coast just yet. We'll keep you updated.
UPDATE 11:00 PM WEDNESDAY 9/5:
Florence has encountered some upper level wind shear and has weakened a tad with winds down to 125 as of the 11 PM Advisory. Further weakening is possible as it encounters even stronger wind shear over the next day or so. Restrengthening is forecast as it edges closer to Bermuda later this weekend into next week. The forecast is still uncertain, but there is still the possibility of an East Coast threat in the future.
UPDATE 5:12 PM WEDNESDAY 9/5:
Florence is now a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph. It will continue moving northwest over the next few days approaching Bermuda by the middle of next week. Big questions remain afterward as the eventual strength of the storm and the position upper level steering currents will determine whether it turns and heads out to sea or stays on a westward course toward the eastern U.S. We DO NOT expect this storm to eventually be a threat to Florida, but could get close to the eastern seaboard of the U.S. depending on the track.
FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY
UPDATE 8:35 AM WEDNESDAY 9/5:
Florence has strengthened to a Category 3 storm, the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season. Winds are currently at 120 mph moving northwest at 13 mph. No threat to land is expected through the start of next week, but the model confidence is low with Florence's long range track and impacts to the US east coast cannot be completely ruled out at this time. We will keep a close eye on it heading into the next week.
UPDATE 11 PM TUESDAY 9/4:
Florence is now a Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 mph. Forecast remains unchanged with it staying in the Atlantic through the weekend. Chances for development on the next tropical wave (Invest 92L) are now up to 90% in 5 days.
UPDATE 5 PM TUESDAY 9/4:
Florence continues to intensify with max winds now at 85 mph. The forecast track keeps it in the Atlantic away from land areas through this weekend. There is a high amount of uncertainty as to its eventual path over a week from now. The latest GFS and European deterministic models recurve the storm as a deep trough carves out a gaping hole in a broad ridge of high pressure over the Atlantic. Florence is forecast by these models to find this weakness in the ridge and get pulled into the northern Atlantic. The Euro ensemble is split between taking it out to sea or Florence missing the trough and getting caught under the rebuilding ridge over New England and the Canadian Maritimes, sending it westward toward Bermuda and the U.S. East Coast.
There is still plenty of time to watch this, but there is a HIGH amount of uncertainty in the eventual track of Florence. Also, we are watching a new tropical wave that emerged off Africa on Monday. This wave has a HIGH chance of development through the end of the week as it moves west. If it becomes a named storm, it would become Helene. Yet ANOTHER wave is forecast to emerge from Africa later in the week and this one is forecast to develop as well. It could become Isaac. Lots to watch in the tropics over the next couple of weeks!
FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY
UPDATE 11 AM TUESDAY 9/4:
Florence has strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane in the open Atlantic, the third hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season. Wind speeds are at 75 mph and Florence is tracking west/northwest at 12 mph in the open Atlantic. Little change in strength is forecast today and gradual weakening is expected through the next few days. Florence poses no threat to land through the weekend.
UPDATE 950 AM EDT SUNDAY 9/2:
Tropical Storm Florence continues to move WNW across the Atlantic. Winds are at 60 mph and is expected to remain at tropical storm status through Labor Day. It is encountering some wind shear, which is hampering organization. Conditions are only marginally favorable for additional strengthening over the next few days. It will be moving into an area of warmer water in the coming days but will be encountering higher wind shear at the same time. Nonetheless, the westward motion should continue until it encounters a "hole" or "weakness" in the sprawling Bermuda-Azores High over the Atlantic. This will allow for it to turn more north. The biggest question now is whether the storm will be drawn into this weakness in the high and pulled into the North Atlantic away from land, or if the storm will remain far enough south and weak enough to allow the weakness in the high to refill as the high pressure ridge builds back in...effectively blocking it from moving out to sea. If this scenario occurs, then the rebuilding high will turn the system back toward a more westward track, bringing it closer to Bermuda and possibly the eastern U.S. in about a week and a half. A weaker storm over the long-term will not be influenced by the weakness in the high pressure ridge as much as a stronger and deeper storm. The European model is still the only model showing a more westward track closer to the eastern US, as it allows the gaping hole in the high pressure ridge to close up, with a strengthening ridge over New England steering the storm closer to the U.S. coast from North Carolina to the Middle Atlantic in a week and a half. It is important to note that this is still 10 days out, but the Euro was the first model to sniff out the possible Gulf development this week.
There is still plenty of time to watch this, but as of now, there IS NO cause for concern for the eastern U.S.
We'll keep you updated!
FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY
UPDATE 842 AM EDT SATURDAY 9/1:
Tropical Storm Florence formed earlier this morning and is now just SW of the Cabo Verde Islands. Movement is WNW at 14. Strengthening is only expected to be modest over the next few days and this will be critical to its eventual path. A storm that stays weaker will track farther west than forecast. A storm that strengthens quickly will have a tendency to want to turn north earlier and stay out to sea.
The Euro model is hinting at a more westward track, with Florence missing a gaping hole in the large Atlantic ridge of high pressure and continuing westward. This would put Bermuda and POSSIBLY the U.S. East Coast in play for a threat as a persistent high pressure ridge builds north of the storm and sends it westward. The Euro is the only model suggesting this right now and we'll need to see how the storm evolves over the next few days to see how it "feels" the steering currents in the atmosphere. To be clear: there is NO imminent threat to Florida or the U.S. East Coast. We'll be keeping an eye on it!
FOX 4 CHIEF METEOROLOGIST DEREK BEASLEY
The disturbance in the eastern Atlantic, formerly dubbed Potential Tropical Cyclone Six has been upgraded to a tropical depression, according to the National Hurricane Center.
At 5 pm, the Hurricane Center said Depression Six has developed a 'well defined circulation' with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph and is moving west at 15 mph. The storm is currently located just south of the Cabo Verde Islands, where it's impacting the area with rain and gusty winds.
The system is expected to strengthen quickly over warm waters and with low wind shear, likely becoming Tropical Storm Florence by Saturday.
Forecast models are in good agreement the system will continue on its west track, then eventually turn more north.
At this time, no impacts to the United States are expected.
We will continue monitoring and update the forecast as necessary.
FOX 4 METEOROLOGIST TONY SADIKU