Hurricane Florence 2018 is increasingly likely to impact or make landfall along the East Coast next week, according to the latest forecast tracker updates. Uncertaintly in Florence’s path prediction remains, however.
The storm has momentarily weakened to Tropical Storm Florence today after wind shear has eroded it from reaching major hurricane strength just days ago. Forecasters believe it will regain hurricane strength and has an increasing possibility of U.S. landfall – perhaps threatening southeastern states.
“Still a wide array of possibilities for #Florence with higher risk compared to yesterday for a landfall somewhere across the Southeastern states this AM,” tweeted Michael Ventrice, meteorological scientist and software engineer at the Weather Company. “There are still members not landfalling however.”
Forecast models show Hurricane Florence possibly hitting the U.S. East Coast mid-week, with impacts beginning as early as this weekend as the storm moves closer to land.
Hurricane Florence’s path 2018 will likely clarify more this weekend as several impacting scenarios develop. Forecasters at The Weather Channel said today it is increasingly possible that, “If that high-pressure ridge is stronger and extends farther west, that would increase the chance of a hurricane landfall along the East Coast, particularly over some part of the Southeast or Mid-Atlantic coast mid- to late next week, with the remnant then driving inland.”
If that high-pressure ridge turns out to be weaker, however, that would diminish chances for a landfall but Florence could still get disturbingly close to the U.S. East Coast next week, delivering beach erosion and coastal flooding.
A third scenario explained by The Weather Channel is less likely, one that keeps Florence off the East Coast with little impact.
The National Hurricane Center still isn’t predicting East Coast landfall in its latest models Thursday, but the agency suggests interests should continue to monitor progress.
“Regardless of Florence’s eventual track, large swells will begin to affect Bermuda later today and portions of the U.S. East Coast this weekend, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents,” the NHC said in its latest forecast update today. “There is still very large uncertainty in Florence’s track beyond day 5, and it is too soon to determine what, if any, other impacts Florence could have on the U.S. East Coast next week.”
Hurricane Florence is expected to strengthen in a few days however, the NHC said. Wind shear is currently taking the storm’s impact down after it reached major hurricane status earlier this week. On Thursday morning, Florence had maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.
“As has been the case for most of Florence’s existence thus far, confidence in the intensity forecast, especially beyond 36 h, is low,” the NHC said. “The new official forecast is a little lower than the previous advisory for the first 48 h, but close to it after that, and lies between the more aggressive HCCA and less aggressive IVCN consensus aids.”