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Catastrophic Flooding Possible from Florence

Good Thursday bloggers,

Florence was moving northwest at 17 mph on Wednesday. Now, it is moving west-northwest at 5 mph. This slow down was expected, but it is the slow movement that is going to cause issues. Yes, wind will be a problem, but the rain and flooding will be the biggest problem as rainfall at the rate of 1″ to 2″ per hour will fall most hours for two days across North Carolina and northern South Carolina.

Florence is about 100 miles east of Wilmington, NCĀ  Thursday evening. So, at present course and speed it will arrive on the coast around 1020 AM Friday morning. The bands of heavy rain are now inland so, here we go.

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FRIDAY 7 AM: Florence will be near the coast, dumping torrential rain as the eye wall moves very slowly. This will also keep the wind going at 50-80 mph with higher gusts, hour after hour.

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SATURDAY 7 AM: 24 hours later Florence will have drifted southwest about 75 miles. The wind will be weakening as the rain continues at ludicrous rates.

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SATURDAY 7 PM: The storm will be drifting west through South Carolina and you can still see bands of torrential rain in southern North Carolina.

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RAINFALL FORECAST THROUGH MONDAY: 20″-40″ of rain is likely across much of North Carolina and northern South Carolina. Amounts near 50″ would not be a surprise, so this is setting up to be a catastrophic event.

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Florence will track into the Tennessee and Ohio valleys early next week before it exits the USA through New England. This will bring .25″ to 2″ of rain, so some minor flooding will be possible in those locations, as Florence will be weaker and moving much faster. Heavy rain will occur across Oklahoma and Texas as tropical moisture heads north. This moisture may create an isolated shower over the weekend around here, but we are keeping the forecast dry.

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Now, back here in our part of the world, a cold front will be heading south early next week. It will likely arrive by the middle and end of next week. This will increase our rain chances. Ahead of the front we will see chances of isolated showers and T-Storms as the tropical moisture to the south drifts north.

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Florence is not the only game in town. We have 4 named systems in the Atlantic. Joyce and Helene will not be a factor for the USA. Isaac on the other hand needs to be watched for next week as it weakly tracks west through the Caribbean Sea. It could become an issue in the Gulf of Mexico.

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Have a great night and Friday.

Jeff Penner

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