Florence continues to pound Carolinas with heavy rain

Issac dissipates in the Caribbean with slim chance of return

By Bryan Norcross - Hurricane Specialist

MIAMI - Tropical Storm Florence continues to dump record rain on eastern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina. Even as the top winds slow down, the rain will continue through the weekend, and only gradually move out of the affected areas.

Isaac has officially dissipated in the central Caribbean Sea. We'll watch to be sure it doesn't regenerate, but the odds don't favor it.

Tropical Storm Florence:  Rainfall is already being measured in feet in parts of North Carolina, and there is more to come. In addition, the flooding will intensify as the rain drains into the rivers.

Florence will move slowly Saturday, and pick up a bit of forward speed Sunday. It will likely take until Monday, however, before the threat of significant heavy rain is over, and it will still rain at times.  

Currently, Florence has top winds estimated at 50 mph. The storm is moving slowly -- only about half the speed of a brisk walk.

The winds will continue to die down, and the storm, with its accompanying moisture, will head west before eventually moving into the Northeast on Tuesday of next week.

Here are the key messages from the National Hurricane Center concerning Florence:

  • Life-threatening storm surge will continue along portions of the North Carolina coast through Saturday, and also along the Neuse and Pamlico rivers in western Pamlico Sound, where rainfall and freshwater flooding will also contribute to high water levels. Dangerous storm surge could also affect portions of the northeast coast of South Carolina Saturday.
  • Life-threatening, catastrophic flash floods and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern to central Appalachians from western North Carolina into west-central Virginia and far eastern West Virginia through early next week, as Florence moves slowly inland. In addition to the flash flood and flooding threat, landslides are also possible in the higher terrain of the southern and central Appalachians across western North Carolina into southwest Virginia.
  • Tropical storm conditions will continue along the coast within the tropical storm warning area and also well inland across portions of South Carolina and North Carolina Saturday.
  • Large swells affecting Bermuda, portions of the U.S. East Coast, and the northwestern and central Bahamas will continue this week, resulting in life-threatening surf and rip currents.

The remnants of Isaac are a few swirls of gusty winds in the Caribbean. None of the main computer models regenerate the system, but we will watch it next week to be sure it stays dead.

Tropical Storm Helene will brush the Azores islands in the eastern Atlantic Saturday, and may threaten Ireland next week.

There are no other threats in the tropics at this time, and nothing in the models show any new development next week, with the slight exception that we will keep an eye on the remnants of Isaac.
 

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