(WBTV) - Hermine was upgraded to a Hurricane Thursday with max winds of 75 mph. This made it a weak Category 1 hurricane (the hurricane wind threshold is 74 mph). By Friday morning, Hermine had made landfall and weakened to a tropical storm.
Since yesterday, the official National Hurricane Center forecast track has shifted back slightly east, and the storm speed has also increased slightly.
It still appears that the greatest potential impact to our part of the Carolinas will be from rain. This rain is coming from 2 systems... firstly, a front which is dropping through as we speak. This is producing numerous showers and thunderstorms for our Thursday evening and Thursday night.
Then our brush with Hermine happens on Friday. It is important to note that we are going to be right on the edge of the heavy tropical rains. Just a slight jog east or west of as little as 30 miles or so could have huge implications for our forecast locally.
Right now, with the center of the storm expected to hold closer to the coast, the core of heavy (6"-12") rain amounts should hold to the east of our viewing area. An early estimate of about 1"-3" of rain for the city of Charlotte, 2"-4" southeast, and up to an inch Northwest looks reasonable.
A Flash Flood Watch is in effect for the WBTV counties from Cabarrus, Mecklenburg, Gaston and southeast through our SC counties from 6 AM Friday to 6 AM Saturday.
Again, rain is the primary threat with the heaviest falling Friday afternoon through about midnight. During this same window, winds will be gusting 30-40mph, with an occasional 50 mph gust possible across southeastern sections.
Finally, the third potential threat could be from severe weather. However, this appears to be a pretty low threat for our part of the Carolinas, as the biggest severe weather threat will hold closer to the coast.