Hurricane Florence a Significant Threat to South Carolina, Expected to Rapidly Intensify

Sep 9, 2018

Florence became a hurricane again Sunday morning, and is forecast to rapidly intensify into a major hurricane by Monday. The storm could be a dangerous, slow-moving and significant threat to South Carolina later this week.

Infrared satellite imagery of Hurricane Florence Sunday afternoon, courtesy of NOAA.

In their 5 pm Sunday advisory, the National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Florence was located 720 miles southeast of Bermuda and had maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. According to Hurricane Specialist Eric Blake earlier Sunday, those wind speeds were likely to dramatically increase in the next 24 hours,

"Almost all of the intensity guidance is showing at least one period of rapid strengthening during the next 24 hours, which is rather rare."

Sunday 5 pm advisory and track forecast of Hurricane Florence from the National Hurricane Center

Coastal and inland residents from South Carolina to Virginia have been advised by forecasters that the risk of life-threatening flooding from Hurricane Florence is increasing, both from storm surge and heavy rain. The major hurricane is projected to slow in forward speed and may even stall as it approaches the coast Thursday or Friday. 

In a key message from the National Hurricane Center, forecasters advised that it was too soon to determine the exact timing, location, and magnitude of the storm's impacts, but that all residents at the coast and inland should closely monitor the progress of Florence and ensure they have their hurricane plan in place.

Due to the typical uncertainties that exist on a storm's track and strength this far out, the storm surge unit from the National Hurricane Center has advised specific forecasts related to Florence would not be available until Tuesday.

A State of Emergency has been declared by the governor's of South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia in preparation for direct impacts from Hurricane Florence. As of Sunday afternoon, tropical storm force winds were more likely to arrive along portions of the coasts of South and/or North Carolina by Thursday morning. Based on the current forecast at the time, hurricane force winds were most likely to come ashore Thursday night somewhere between Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Morehead City, North Carolina. The range of uncertainty on a possible landfall extends from just north of Savannah, Georgia to about 100 miles north of Norfolk, Virginia.