Hurricane Florence Track Chart, Advisory #43

Current Location: 24.6N, 57.7W
Geographic Reference: 1380 miles ESE of Cape Fear, North Carolina
Movement: West at 9 mph
Max Winds: 90 mph gusting to 110 mph
Current Hurricane Severity Index: 10 out of a possible 50 points (3 size, 7 intensity)
Max Predicted Hurricane Severity Index: 31 out of a possible 50 points (12 size, 19 intensity)
Current Radius of Tropical Storm-Force Winds: 105 miles
Max Predicted Radius of Tropical Storm-Force Winds: 160 miles
Organizational Trend: Intensifying
Forecast Confidence: Average

Key Points
1. Florence is forecast to make landfall on the North Carolina coast, in the vicinity of Cape Fear, as a strong category 3 hurricane Thursday afternoon.
2. Major damage from wind and tidal surge is expected.
2. A major inland flood event is expected for eastern North Carolina. This could extend into central North Carolina and Virginia.

Our Forecast
Florence is gradually accelerating to the west. We expect this westward track to turn more to the west-northwest tomorrow. Most indications are that the ridge of high pressure to the north of Florence will be strong enough to drive the hurricane into the coast. In fact, some of the model guidance has shifted to the south. Based upon this, we have made a slight shift of our forecast track. Landfall is now forecast to occur around Cape Fear, North Carolina Thursday afternoon. After landfall, we are still forecasting a slowdown along with a looping motion. The main difference with this forecast is that the loop now occurs farther inland over North Carolina.

Florence is intensifying this evening. Based upon satellite imagery, we now estimate that the winds have increased to 90 mph. Environmental conditions are very favorable for further intensification. Our forecast is for Florence to reach a peak intensity of 150 mph Wednesday morning. Thereafter, wind shear is likely to increase a little over Florence, which should cause some weakening. Our forecast is for Florence to move into North Carolina as a strong category 3 hurricane with 125 mph winds.

In addition to the wind and tidal surge threat, the fact that Florence is expected to slow significantly after landfall means that there will be a risk of major inland flooding with the storm. Some of the model guidance indicates that more than 30 inches of rainfall map occur in some places. It is too soon to say with any certainty the areas that will see the heaviest rains. However, the greatest risk is to eastern North Carolina at this time. It is possible that this high risk may eventually extend into central North Carolina and southeast Virginia.

Expected Impacts on Land
North Carolina and Southeast Virginia: There is the potential for significant wind damage and long lasting power outages. Flooding capable of causing major damage is also likely for eastern North Carolina. This type of flooding is also possible for southeast Virginia.
DelMarVa Peninsula: Some flooding is possible from the Delmarva Peninsula, with the greatest threat being located in the Virginia portion of the peninsula.

Expected Impacts Offshore
Offshore Delaware to North Carolina: Combined seas as high as 35 feet to 45 feet may occur within 100 miles of the track of Florence on Wednesday into Thursday off the coast of South and North Carolina. Combined seas as high as 20 to 30 feet may occur off the coast of Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware Wednesday through Thursday.

Our next advisory will be issued by 4 AM EDT

Meteorologist: Derek Ortt

Forecast Confidence:   Average Hurricane Severity Index
Fcst Hour Valid Lat. Lon. Max Sustained Winds Max Gusts Category Size Intensity Total
0 9PM CDT Sun Sep 09 24.60N 57.70W 90 mph 110 mph Category 1 3 7 10
12 9AM CDT Mon Sep 10 25.00N 59.60W 110 mph 130 mph Category 2 6 10 16
24 9PM CDT Mon Sep 10 25.70N 62.10W 125 mph 150 mph Category 3 7 13 20
36 9AM CDT Tue Sep 11 26.70N 65.00W 145 mph 175 mph Category 4 9 17 26
48 9PM CDT Tue Sep 11 28.10N 68.20W 145 mph 175 mph Category 4 12 17 29
60 9AM CDT Wed Sep 12 29.50N 71.00W 150 mph 180 mph Category 4 12 19 31
72 9PM CDT Wed Sep 12 31.30N 74.00W 145 mph 175 mph Category 4 13 17 30
84 9AM CDT Thu Sep 13 33.40N 76.80W 130 mph 160 mph Category 4 11 15 26
90 3PM CDT Thu Sep 13 34.20N 77.80W 125 mph 150 mph Category 3 11 13 24
96 9PM CDT Thu Sep 13 35.00N 78.30W 105 mph 125 mph Category 2 8 9 17
105 6AM CDT Fri Sep 14 35.40N 78.50W 75 mph 90 mph Category 1 3 5 8
108 9AM CDT Fri Sep 14 35.50N 78.60W 60 mph 75 mph Tropical Storm 2 3 5
120 9PM CDT Fri Sep 14 36.00N 78.60W 40 mph 50 mph Tropical Storm 1 1 2
132 9AM CDT Sat Sep 15 36.30N 78.30W 35 mph 45 mph Tropical Depression 0 1 1
144 9PM CDT Sat Sep 15 36.50N 77.80W 35 mph 45 mph Tropical Depression 0 1 1
156 9AM CDT Sun Sep 16 36.00N 77.00W 35 mph 45 mph Tropical Depression 0 1 1
168 9PM CDT Sun Sep 16 35.50N 76.50W 35 mph 45 mph Tropical Depression 0 1 1

The yellow cone represents track error from the previous five hurricane seasons. Over the past five hurricane seasons, the center of the storm tracked within the yellow cone 75% of the time. The cone does not represent the forecast uncertainty in the current advisory for this storm. In addition, hurricane-force winds, very high tides, large waves, and heavy rainfall can often extend well outside the yellow cone.