Florence moves toward Carolinas, tropics remain active

By: Brittany Bedi| WCTV Pinpoint Weather Team
September 11, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- If you look at satellite imagery of the Atlantic basin, there's plenty of action in the tropics. Five areas are being closely watched. Florence, Isaac and Helene are the three major areas being monitored, plus two disturbances in the Atlantic. None of these storms or disturbances are a threat to the local North Florida or South Georgia area, but at least one could influence the local weather. Let's break it down one-by-one.

As of the 5 PM advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Florence is a category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 140 mph. Hurricane-force winds (75+mph) extend up to 60 miles from its center. Tropical storm-force winds (35-74 mph) extend up to 175 miles out from its center.

Florence's center is located roughly 750 miles southeast of the North Carolina, and South Carolina border at the coast.
Florence is forecast to strengthen in the next 36 hours as it is over an area with warm water and low wind shear. After that some wind shear is expected to slightly weaken the hurricane before landfall. Not many changes have been made to the forecast path. Landfall is still forecast to be sometime Friday night or Saturday morning as a major hurricane.

High winds, storm surge and coastal flooding will be an issue for the Carolina coastlines. Inland areas will have to deal with freshwater flooding. Even after Florence is expected to weaken, it will linger near Carolinas. This will lead to several inches of rain. Runoff into area rivers there could lead to elevated water levels or flooding.

Florence is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm after landfall, and then a depression.

North Florida and South Georgia will not be impacted by any wind or rain from Florence. However, a different effect is possible. Drier air could actually be filtered in as the storm makes landfall in the Carolinas. This would mean that rain chance could be slightly lower on Saturday. However, this would also mean that temperatures will be able to warm to the mid 90s in the afternoon.

Since it's still two to three days out, we'll still keep a close eye on Florence after landfall, as things could change.

According to the National Hurricane Center's 5 PM advisory, tropical storm Isaac is located roughly 725 miles east of the Lesser Antilles. It will continue west at 16 mph.

Models are in good agreement that Isaac will continue westward, crossing the Lesser Antilles. Isaac is also not a threat to the local area.

As of the 5 PM advisory from the NHC, Helene is a category 2 hurricane. This storm is forecast to remain in the Atlantic and weaken as it moves over cooler ocean waters. Wind shear will also play a part in weakening the storm. It is not a threat to the United States.

Disturbance near the Gulf of Mexico
A cluster of showers and thunderstorms near the Yucatan Peninsula is bringing gusty winds over the Southern Gulf of Mexico. It could organize to a tropical depression by Thursday. However, forecast models take it over towards Texas or Louisiana after that.

Disturbance in Northern Atlantic

An area of low pressure in the Atlantic has a 20% chance of development int he next 48 hours. It could become a tropical or subtropical depression, but will linger over cooler Atlantic waters. It is not a threat to the U.S.

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