The storm could be a Category 4 by the time it reaches the Carolinas.
Hurricane Florence could become a devastating, “life-threatening” Category 4 storm before it hits the East Coast of the United States in a few days, AccuWeather is reporting.
States of emergency have already been declared in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia as the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season heads this way. According to USA Today, the storm is expected to lash Bermuda and the Bahamas on Tuesday and Wednesday before turning north and bearing down on the Carolinas.
“Florence is forecast to become a major hurricane this morning, and is expected to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane through Thursday.”
Even though the storm is days out from landfall, already things are getting treacherous in the waters off the East Coast. That’s because, as AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski, a hurricane can stir up rough seas hundreds of miles out.
Already North Carolina’s Outer Banks has put out red “No Swimming” flags, as dangerous waves and riptides are being stirred up.
“The surf may be especially hazardous, since most lifeguards are not on duty past Labor Day.”
Meanwhile, small craft are advised to stay in port until further notice.
Once Florence does make landfall, things are likely to get much worse.
The storm could bring storm surges as high as 16 feet. What’s worse, the storm could very well stall for as much as 48 hours after it makes landfall, bringing near-cataclysmic rainfall – 20 inches or more – to an area already soaked from flooding, according to AccuWeather meteorologist Brett Rossi.
“This is very scary rain event potentially setting up this week. Florence could dump a foot of rain in places that cannot handle it, making for a very scary flooding situation in some areas.”
Meanwhile, according to Forbes, secondary and tertiary effects of the storm could also bedevil the area.
“With a storm of this magnitude, numerous impacts from storm surge, rainfall, potential tornadoes, and falling trees will have broad reach.”
Until Florence, the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season had been almost deceptively quiet. As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the season had passed with little more than a couple of minor blips until just over a week ago, when a metaphorical “switch” was “flipped.” That is to say, the weather conditions – specifically, hurricane-destroying wind shear – that had kept the hurricane season at bay all started to reverse. At the time, the storm system that would eventually come to be named “Florence” was little more than an area of storm-like activity out in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.