Confidence has increased in the expected track of Hurricane Florence, and the storm will begin to affect the coast of NC Thursday.
As of 8 p.m. Wednesday evening, Florence has weakened slightly due to the dry air wrapping into the southwest corridor of the storm; however, it remains a powerful Category 3 hurricane with winds of 115 mph.
Computer models have converged on a general track for Hurricane Florence. The storm is expected to stall or make landfall near Wilmington before moving south towards the SC coast on Saturday. Hurricane conditions are expected across southeast NC for 24-48 hours, and up to 40 inches of rain will be possible in this area. On top of the rain and the wind, an 11-13 foot storm surge is expected across the southeast United States.
Right now, a second landfall is expected along the SC coast on Saturday before moving towards Columbia. Heavy rain is expected to continue to fall across much of the Carolinas through Sunday, and heavy rain is expected continue across the western and central part of the state through Tuesday.
Flooding will be an issue with this storm. I would not be shocked to see some locations across southeastern NC receive over 20 inches of rain, with some locations receiving upwards of 40 inches. Most of the Carolinas are forecasted to receive 6-10 inches of rain outside of the southeastern part of the state.
Hurricane Florence will be a long term event across the Carolinas. If you live along the coast, final preparations need to be made as soon as possible and evacuations orders need to be followed immediately. Inland, be prepared for gusty winds from the storm, power loss, or flooding rains from this storm. I will continue to keep you updated with the latest information.