As of midday Monday, the National Hurricane Center now indicates that Florence is quickly becoming well organized, with a distinct eye, and has undergone a period of rapid intensification into a powerful hurricane. This storm will continue its track towards the west Northwest, allowing it to move over very warm waters (83 degrees-85 degrees) which will serve as fuel for this system to strengthen as it approaches the coast of the southeastern United States.
All models show it continuing as a category 4 storm through Tuesday.
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Florence is on track to make a possible landfall anywhere between Hilton Head, South Carolina to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, cities within the cone of uncertainty. It is imperative to not focus on the forecast line because any changes in the weather pattern could veer this system away from its current track, so that’s why the importance on the cone of uncertainty.
The hurricane’s wind field is expected to grow as the days go by, increasing the risk for rip currents and storm surge. Life-threatening storm surge is likely between the coasts of South Carolina to Virginia especially starting on Wednesday.
Rainfall totals from Thursday thru Saturday show up to 20 inches of rain in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and surrounding areas as this hurricane will stall once it moves inland, so then the issue would be freshwater flooding.
Locally, we are not expected to get direct impacts from Florence but if you are planning on heading out to the water, large swells are expected along the coastline with rough surf, beach erosion and life-threatening rip currents.