Even veterans of past landfalls there may be in for a surprise.
Hurricane Florence is forecast to slow to a crawl as it nears landfall in the next 24 hours. As a result, some unusual and unimaginable things could happen. People in the Carolinas need to take this hurricane seriously.
For starters, slow-moving hurricanes often deliver flood disasters. Think last year’s Hurricane Harvey with its 50- to 60-inch rains. The National Weather Service is predicting widespread rainfall in parts of the Carolinas of 10-20 inches.
Some areas could be inundated with 30-50 inches as rain bands spiral ashore and hit spots repeatedly, as they did for days in Texas during Harvey.
Then there’s the storm surge. It may be unprecedented. Sure the Carolinas have endured the likes of Hurricanes Hugo in 1989, Fran in 1996, and Hazel in 1954.
All brought storm surges topping 15 feet. But all were also moving quickly. A slowing hurricane like Florence could pile up a lot of water.
If it stalls offshore, says storm surge expert Dr. Hal Needham in a Wednesday blog post, “this will serve to dramatically increase the storm surge magnitude and geographic extent of coastal flooding.”
Read more on the American Meteorological Society’s blog here: http://blog.ametsoc.org/media-tips/how-hurricane-florence-could-turn-weird-and-deadly/