Eric Thomas gives context to latest Florence track

Eric Thomas gives context to latest Florence track
Hurricane Florence (Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - So the latest 11 a.m. official forecast track for Florence was issued by the National Hurricane Center at 11 a.m. It marked a significant change from earlier forecasts as the new track is following the European model solution much more closely.

The European model has been superior in forecasting all types of weather systems, including tropical, over the past several years, and its dominance appears to be continuing.

See the attached images:

1. This is the official forecast track for Florence from the NHC. It would be easy to look at this and think things are much better for us in the western Carolinas. Not so fast.

(Source: NHC)

2. This is a look at the wind gust map. We may actually experience our strongest wind gusts while Florence is still a Cat 2 hurricane sliding along the SC coastline on Saturday afternoon. Some gusts east of Charlotte could exceed 50 mph.

3. This is image is from Monday afternoon. That’s right, I said next Monday! As the center of much weaker Florence meanders westward across central GA, we could still be seeing wind gusts in the 30 - 40 mph range. Think about that, if we are being battered by moderate wind gusts for over two days, that will take it’s toll on trees, large limbs and power lines. Yes, power outages are still likely under this scenario.

4. This image shows some of the heaviest rain moving through our viewing area. When is this you ask? Brace yourself. How about Tuesday night!!! That is almost a week from now, incredible!

5. Finally, if this path verifies and Florence follows this forecast track, here is an estimate of total rainfall across our region. Frightening. The mountains could see a foot of rain with the foothills over six inches, the Charlotte area around four or five inches and slightly higher amounts again in our SC counties.

Needless to say, we are going to be dealing with this for quite sometime, please do not let your guard down and be mislead by this new southern path of Florence.

We’ll keep you updated here on, on the WBTV First Alert Weather app and of course WBTV News starting each morning at 4:30 a.m. and each afternoon starting at 4 p.m.

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