Saturday, 17 November, 2018

"Monster" Hurricane Florence Aims to Drench Carolinas

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Kenny Thornton | 15 September, 2018, 20:03

"All interests from SC into the Mid-Atlantic region should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place and follow any advice given by local officials", the Hurricane Center said.

Computer simulations - especially the often star-performing European model - push the storm further south, even into SC and Georgia.

Emergency preparations in the area included activating 2,800 National Guard troops in North Carolina, stockpiling food, setting up shelters, switching traffic patterns so that major roads led away from shore and securing 16 nuclear reactors in the three-state region. Workers are being brought in from the Midwest and Florida to help in the storm's aftermath, it said. Most other beachgoers were long done.

"Hugo was a direct hit", he said. "It's a big one".

In addition to the heavy rain potential, gusty winds will also be a good bet.

The National Hurricane Center is calling for 10 to 20 inches of rain and 30 inches in isolated spots.

Private meteorologist Ryan Maue of Weathermodels.com in an email called the overnight European computer simulation "another model run for the ages". Some reactors are undergoing prestorm checks now, and their reactors will be shut down 12 hours before the hurricane arrives, Green said. "This is not a pretty sight".

Florence was moving west-southwest at about 5 miles per hour (7 km/h), with its centre located over eastern SC. Usually storms come to the Carolinas and mid-Atlantic from the south - and those usually curve safely out to sea.

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Up to 1.7 million people in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia have been given voluntary or mandatory evacuation orders, according to emergency management officials, as the storm churned across the Atlantic Ocean toward the coast. Florence is expected to remain a Category 4 storm when it makes landfall.

Florence is becoming more of a threat to more people - now including some in Georgia - in more ways with a giant dose of uncertainty on top.

The storm has pretty much followed the forecast track through now, but the issue will be Thursday or Friday as it nears the coast and the steering currents collapse. And with the Appalachian Mountains to the west, there could be flooding and mudslides, experts worry.

Some of Florence's behavior, both what has been seen so far and what experts expect, show the influence of climate change.

Speaking at a news conference, the official said the hurricane was expected to spread out into the Central Appalachian mountains, the Tennessee Valley, and southeastern parts of the United States after Saturday. The storm will bring dangerously high amounts of rain, forecasters say. Even normal water is warm enough for a storm to form there, but this adds to the storm's fuel and its rainfall.

Boarding up his home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Chris Pennington watched the forecasts and tried to decide when to leave.

A tropical disturbance with a 60 percent chance of developing into a tropical depression is moving toward the South Texas coast and will make landfall by the end of the week, according to the National Weather Service.

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