Wednesday, 26 September, 2018

Hurricane Categories Don't Tell You Anything About The Water

Hurricane Florence NOAA update Hurricane Florence NOAA update Spaghetti model shows potential paths of Florence
Sandra Phillips | 14 September, 2018, 06:29

Even if Hurricane Florence's category weakens, or if the storm no longer maintains its hurricane status, the amount of rain can still be biblical.

Hurricane Florence is seen from the International Space Station as it churns in the Atlantic Ocean towards the east coast of the United States, September 10, 2018.

Forecasters say it could slow dramatically when it nears land and then linger until Saturday, moving unpredictably along the coast and bringing torrential rain.

Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.

"The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves. But we're going to be okay", he said. It is an enormous storm, and it's moving slowly.

So this means that storm surges of from 7 to 13 feet are a very real possibility from Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina and North of Duck North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border.

Fears about Hurricane Florence spread south on Wednesday, with Georgia declaring a state of emergency after officials in the Carolinas urged people to evacuate the coast ahead of the storm's expected pounding winds and rain-driven floods.

Life-threatening storm surges of up to 13 feet (3.9 meters) were also forecast in some areas of North Carolina along with the possibility of tornadoes. The category ranking of storms only describes the speed of the storm's sustained winds. GOES-East is one many satellites in orbit tracking the hurricane as it approaches the Carolinas.

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Hurricane warnings are in effect for the South Santee River in SC to Duck, North Carolina, and Albemarle and Pamlico sounds. Hurricane-force winds were blowing 130 km from its centre, and tropical-storm-force winds reached up to 315km from the eye.

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"The magnitude of the storm is beyond what we have seen in years", said Howard Fowler, Duke Energy's incident commander.

"These bays, these rivers and these inlets, there's so much storm surge the water is being literally forced to flow the opposite direction", Graham said.

Luettich and colleagues at the University of Notre Dame and University of Texas spent 30 years developing ADCRIC, a computer model that gauges storm surge and other impacts of major coastal weather events. Restoring power to all customers could take weeks, the utility warned.

Jeff Byard of the Federal Emergency Management Agency invoked a former boxing champion to warn residents that Florence would bring "a Mike Tyson punch to the Carolina coast". From 1963 to 2012, 49 per cent of USA hurricane deaths were from storm surge, 27 per cent from rain, 8 per cent from wind, 6 per cent from surf, 6 per cent were offshore and 3 per cent from tornadoes, according to a National Hurricane Center study. The area will suffer far beyond the immediate effects expected.

People on barrier islands or peninsulas were running out of time Wednesday to retreat by bridge or ferry. Because the storm was so strong earlier in the week, it built up a wall of water which will push inland as the storm surge.

"Extremely unsafe winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage".

"Either no (hotel) rooms are available, or we are denied because the breed or size of dogs", she said. Nathan Deal declared an emergency but did not immediately order any evacuations.

New Hanover County officials said Thursday morning that it could accept more residents seeking shelter at Trask Middle School, Eaton Elementary School, Codington Elementary School, the Johnson Pre-K Center and Noble Middle School.

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