According to the National Hurricane center, wave heights reached 83 feet early this morning, under the northeast quadrant of Hurricane Florence. They say these enormous waves are produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction the storm’s motion.
DAWN OVER FLORENCE: NOAA’s #GOES16 captured the sunrise over #HurricaneFlorence this morning, Sept. 12, 2018. NOAA says the Cat. 4 #hurricane will bring “life-threatening #StormSurge and #Rainfall to portions of the #Carolinas and Mid-Atlantic states.” Updates: @NHC_Atlantic pic.twitter.com/01Z34h3191
— NOAA Satellites PA (@NOAASatellitePA) September 12, 2018
Wave heights to 83 ft were measured early this morning under the NE quadrant of Hurricane Florence. These enormous waves are produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction the storm’s motion. #HurricaneFlorence https://t.co/26J6Uogt6o pic.twitter.com/mdjGD5yibg
— NHC_TAFB (@NHC_TAFB) September 12, 2018
Hurricane Florence remains a powerful Category 4 hurricane this morning as it accelerates towards the Eastern Seaboard. Florence’s forward speed increased a great deal last night as it continues to slingshot around the southern periphery of a subtropical high pressure system. Fluctuations in intensity will continue over the next day or two, but Florence may still briefly become a Category 5 hurricane as it drifts over very warm water. Florence will continue to increase in forward speed through tonight. By Thursday morning, Florence will likely slow in speed, just as it approaches the North Carolina coast. This will bring progressively deteriorating conditions to the Carolinas. By Thursday afternoon and evening, hurricane-force winds are expected across the North Carolina coast.
This will continue into Thursday night. There is still some uncertainty as to when Florence will make landfall in the Carolinas, but there is the increasing possibility that Florence will stall entirely off the Carolina coast, continuing to batter the Southeast with flooding rainfall and damaging winds, perhaps into the first half of the weekend.
This has the potential to be a severe life-threatening storm with catastrophic impacts. Mandatory evacuations have already been announced. More mandatory evacuations are expected to be announced over the coming days, and anyone located in coastal portions of the southeastern United States should make preparations for potential evacuations. As of right now, potential landfall along the Carolina coast as a major hurricane appears most likely during the Friday night-Saturday morning time period. Fluctuations in forward speed and trajectory are still possible as this system continues to develop. Regardless of the exact track, catastrophic flooding rainfall, devastating storm surge and widespread destructive winds are expected in the southeastern United States. AccuWeather has predicted an AccuWeather Local StormMax Elsewhere in the Atlantic basin, Hurricane Helene is moving away from the southernmost Cabo Verde Islands. Helene will move over the open water of the Atlantic through this week and will likely
curve off to the north as it gets picked up by a frontal system. While over open water and well away from land at the current moment, Helene may approach the Azores late this weekend into early next week, and interests in the area should monitor the system for further development.
Isaac remains a tropical storm this morning as it continues west towards the Lesser Antilles. Modest wind shear out of the north has caused it to lose some of its organization. In fact, Isaac’s center has been entirely exposed with much of the thunderstorm activity displaced well to the southeast of the circulation. As a result, Isaac will likely remain a tropical storm over the next several days. By Wednesday night, Isaac will begin impacting the Lesser Antilles. The worst conditions are expected to be Thursday as it crosses over the islands. Heavy rain, damaging winds and mudslides are expected, especially across the higher terrain. Once Isaac enters the Caribbean Sea, it will enter a region of increased northerly wind shear. At this time, we are anticipating weakening of Isaac across the Caribbean due to this wind shear. However, if Isaac enters the Caribbean as a stronger storm, it has the possibility of overcoming this wind shear. Interests across the
Caribbean should monitor the progression of Isaac over the next several days.
Finally, we are watching a tropical wave currently crossing into the southern Gulf of Mexico. Right now, this tropical wave is fighting a great deal of wind shear. Wind shear is expected to abate a bit later today. By tonight, it is possible this system may develop organized tropical characteristics before reaching the Texas coast. Regardless of development, very heavy rainfall is expected across the Texas coast.