Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Hurricane Florence: 'Monster' storm on collision course with Carolinas

Hurricane Florence Is Traveling A Similar Path As A 1933 Storm That Got Very, Very Close To D.C. NASA showed how it looks from space a hurricane "Florence"
Guillermo Lane | 14 September, 2018, 06:02

"Dangerous Florence", as the official update calls it, is highly likely to bring with it life-threatening storm surges and catastrophic flash flooding, and damaging hurricane-force winds across vast stretches of SC and North Carolina.

Residents scrambled to flee en masse as the menacing Category 4 storm packing winds of 220 kilometers per hour bore down on the East Coast of the United States.

Then, as the high-pressure system steering Florence weakens, the hurricane is expected to hang out inland for days, showering the region with rain much like Hurricane Harvey did to Houston previous year.

"Please be prepared, be careful and be SAFE!"

"People need to leave now before they can't", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said. Schools in 26 of the state's 46 counties were to close from Tuesday.

North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Maryland governors have declared states of emergency.

He said: "We here in North Carolina are bracing for a hard hit".

Some forecasts call for Florence to stall out after it strikes the coast.

SC ordered the mandatory evacuation of one million coastal residents while North Carolina ordered an evacuation of the Outer Banks, barrier islands that are a popular tourist destination.

In addition to Florence, the Atlantic Ocean now has two other strong storms.

Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., says global warming also affects the size and intensity of storms like Florence.

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"This is a real hurricane we have coming", South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday.

"This is going to be a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast", said Jeff Byard, associate administrator for response and recovery at the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

As of 12:00 p.m. on Monday, Data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter indicate that Florence has continued to rapidly strengthen and has maximum sustained winds near 130 miles per hour (195 km/h) and a minimum central pressure of 946 mb making the powerful storm a Category 4.

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam has issued a mandatory evacuation for a portion of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore in preparation of the impact of Hurricane Florence.

Some tourists and residents were still outside enjoying pleasant weather as forecasters said computer models narrowed the grim target with clearer consensus.

Moreover, high tides around noon and midnight these next few days will make the storm surges even worse, Samson said.

If Florence makes landfall as a Category 4 in North Carolina, it will be the strongest storm to come ashore that far north on record. "We certainly understand the need for safety, of course, we just felt that tomorrow, making the decision then, would've been more responsible and accurate".

Andrew was the last Category 5 hurricane to hit the USA, said Jeff Masters, co-founder of Weather Underground in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

High pressure will remain largely in place across New England through the weekend as Hurricane Florence tracks to the south, according to the National Weather Service. Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune urged people to secure their homes but said it was too early to know if evacuations will be ordered.

The blasting wind and surging water may also damage some of the 16 nuclear reactors located in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia.

By 5 a.m. Tuesday, Florence was centered about 975 miles (1,570 kilometers) east-southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west-northwest at 15 mph (24 kph). Its centre will move between Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday and approach the coast of South or North Carolina on Thursday, the National Hurricane Centre said.

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