Hurricane Florence September 2018

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Well, something is better than nothing, and we have the EURO, GFS and FV3-GFS in the closest agreement than we have had since this goat rodeo began. I've got three models showing three different but similar routes and landfalls so I'm picking the one in the middle which is the FV3--GFS.

Will this be the exact track Florence will take? Only time will tell, and time is running out. The primary threats will be wind and rain. With wind on a near coast landing / stall, flying debris and trees coming down do the most damage to structures. The rain and continual surge are worse than an actual landfall because the wind field doesn't shift like it would with an actual landfall. So add to the surge a massive amount of rain and you have inland and coastal flooding.

How strong will the wind be? Again time will tell, but looking at the models all three are in agreement with a near land stall around Wilmington NC with a central eye pressure of around 965 mb. This puts the winds around 120 mph on the Dvorak Scale and a dangerous Cat3 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale as it stalls, wobbling just off the SW coast of NC for a period of 8 to 12 hours. Pushing a surge and dumping copious amounts of rain from Myrtle Beach up to up to the NE border of NC with the heaviest amounts being from below Pamlico Sound to Wilmington and possibly points SW of there before Florence begins to move along the coast Southward late Friday night / early Saturday morning.

From this point on is where the most disagreement regarding an actual landfall occurs. GFS is showing a Myrtle Beach landfall, FV3-GFS is showing a Charleston Landfall and the EURO is sticking with a Savannah region landfall. All three are in relative agreement of a central pressure of around 975mb / 100 mph strong Cat2 or weak Cat3 at actual landfall.

The inland tracks vary from a northern track (GFS) of Myrtle Beach, to Columbia SC to Clayton GA to Knoxville TN. The middle Track (FV3-GFS) from Charleston to Augusta Ga to East Metro ATL to Chatsworth Ga to Cookville TN. The Southern most track (EURO) will be from the Savannah GA region to Macon GA to Blue Ridge GA then a NW trajectory as it exits TN. Pressures are in the general 1000mb range as it exits N. GA is still in the CAT 1 range with winds around 50mph, but I suspect (am hoping) that is a little high compared to what real life central pressures will be (fingers crossed)

What to expect on shore has been covered. Water is going to pile up as this storm travels the coastline seeking out it's actual landfall. Inland expect heavy heavy rains, possible tornadoes, and constant winds (not gusts) that will bring down trees and power lines. Both GFS models are in agreement with the exit from N GA being around Midnight to a little after on Monday morning. The EURO is moving much slower with an exit from N. GA from mid to late on Tuesday. So as you can see forward motion is important as this effects how much water it will lay down and how long the winds will sustain.

Rules to remember, the most rain will fall on the North but mostly East side of the center of circulation. Winds will be the strongest on the North and East side of circulation, but will still be respectable on the West side moving in an opposing direction.

Make sure you have water, candles, batteries for light sources, alternate means of cooking your food, a communication plan in case cell towers are effected and plenty of food. Do not wait until landfall to hit the grocery stores. Make sure your vehicles are full of gas, no power equals no gas at the stations. Make sure your prescription meds are up to date and all refills done. Most importantly, check on your neighbors in the worst case scenario and make sure there are none that are dependent on power for survival. And most of all, make sure your weather radio batteries are fresh with backup batteries if needed. Be prepared to shelter in place for a long period of time.

As the storm gets closer expect the tracks to change and hopefully come into better agreement. Stay tuned to your local mets on TV and have a AM/FM battery powered backup to monitor the situation if power is lost.

I will not answer IMBY questions or areas in between the tracks speculative questions. You now have all of the information I have as I see it, so prepare accordingly.

Here are the three models that will get refined as the day goes on. I most likely won't update them much until later this afternoon / night.