Monster storm heading to the Carolinas

(image: WPMI) Monster storm heading to the Carolinas



Florence is a major category 4 hurricane on a crash course with the Carolinas. The formidable storm expected to bring life-threatening storm surge and rainfall to the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic states. It's currently churning about 500 miles SE of Cape Fear, North Carolina moving WNW. It's packing sustained winds at 130mph. Hurricane warnings and storm surge warnings are hoisted from S Santee River, South Carolina to just north of Duck, North Carolina near the Virginia border. Hurricane force winds extend out from the center 70 miles with tropical storm force winds out 175 miles. Tomorrow night is the most likely time frame for landfall along the North Carolina coast. Adding to the catastrophic potential is the flooding that will follow as the storm stalls out, not just along the coast, but inland as well. Some areas could receive 15-20" of rain and isolated amounts of 30" are not out of the question!

Hurricane Helene is a category 1 hurricane on the other side of the Atlantic will slowly weaken over the next few days as it heads north toward colder waters of the north Atlantic Ocean.

Isaac is a tropical storm and is moving west toward the Caribbean. Isaac will gradually weaken as it cruises through the Caribbean. However, as long as it is an organized tropical system in that area, we'll keep an eye on it.

We're also watching a cluster of showers and storms near the south-central Gulf of Mexico. The National Hurricane Center gives it a 60% formation chance over the next 5 days. It most likely will continue heading west towards northern Mexico and the Texas Gulf Coast. At this time I don't see it being a threat to our part of the Gulf Coast.

Locally, muggy mid-week air is a sure bet! The heat is kicking up today with highs near 90, and the heat index 100+. Less storm action thankfully! But, still keep that umbrella close with a 30% chance of storms.

More rounds of rain, lightning and thunder ramp up in the forecast Thursday and Friday as our summertime pattern persists. They will be hit-and-miss storms with a few torrential downpours, mainly during the afternoons. The rain risk diminishes this weekend as drier, more stable air is pushed into our area by an upper-level high pressure ridge and the wind flow pattern on the back side of Hurricane Florence over the Carolinas. Saturday and Sunday only a 20% chance that an afternoon storm will find you.

Rip Current Risk:

Wednesday: MODERATE

Thursday: LOW

Friday: LOW

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