Florence Update

/Florence Update

Florence Update

Good Wednesday bloggers,

Hurricane Florence is a category 3 and will maintain its strength as it makes it to the North Carolina coast Thursday night and Friday. It may briefly become a cat 4 as it moves over the warm gulf stream waters. It only needs 10 mph more winds to become a cat 4.

As of 4:30 PM Wednesday the satellite showed that the eye wall was not totally surrounded with major thunderstorms. So, the strength has dropped to 120 mph. It will likely gain strength overnight, but the Hurricane Center keeps it a cat 3 until landfall.


THURSDAY NIGHT: Here is the latest data from our in house model. It shows the eye right on the coast of North Carolina southwest of Wilmington. Wilmington, NC is getting pounded.


FRIDAY NIGHT: The storm has drifted southwest into South Carolina and it is still pouring in southern North Carolina. If the storm stays offshore as it tracks southwest it will not weaken much. If it tracks southwest, just inland, then it will weaken, but still produce insane amounts of rain.


Regardless whether Florence drifts southwest inland or not, 20″ to 40″ of rain is possible across southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina. This would create catastrophic flooding.


Why is the storm meandering once it reaches the USA? The steering currents are very weak as the main jet stream is located well to the northwest from California to Hudson Bay. There are a bunch of wandering features across the southeast 3/4 of the USA. The jet stream will sag south next week, bringing our next rain chances. This will also take Florence into the Tennessee Valley and likely into Ohio before exiting the USA next week across New England.


The best chance of organized thunderstorms through Sunday will be across the northern Plains.


We are in for some great end of summer weather with highs mostly in the 80s and lows mostly in the 60s. It will be a bit humid as well.


Thursday morning may start with areas of low clouds and fog.

Have a great night and Thursday.

Jeff Penner

2018-09-13T16:56:59+00:00September 12th, 2018|General|47 Comments


  1. Anonymous September 12, 2018 at 8:44 pm - Reply

    WOW…HURRICANE totally falling apart from southwest shear. One quadrant…getting CAT1 readings. Weather folks completely and totally blew the intensity and path of this. Shows how little we really do know about these things sometimes.

  2. MattinLeavenworth September 12, 2018 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    The magnitude and the track south of this storm is impressive. I was just reading an updated storm article calling for now up to 40 inches of rain in the hot spots. I mean…40 inches in a month is just insane. 40 inches in 36 hours with high winds? This one is for the studies at university meteorology programs.

    • Heat Miser September 12, 2018 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      WOW…HURRICANE totally falling apart from southwest shear. One quadrant…getting CAT1 readings. Weather folks completely and totally blew the intensity and path of this. Shows how little we really do know about these things sometimes.

      • LYITC41 September 13, 2018 at 8:04 am - Reply

        Update: Storm is weaker but not “totally falling apart”.

        • Heat Miser September 13, 2018 at 9:59 am - Reply

          It looked bad on radar dude…NHC at the time was reporting CAT1 winds in one quadrant of the the hurricane at time when they thought it might ramp up to a CAT 5 for a time…it was close to falling apart at the time anyway

  3. Lary Gezak September 12, 2018 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Gary tweeted a day or two ago that Florence is nearing Cat 5 strength

  4. MattinLeavenworth September 13, 2018 at 3:15 am - Reply

    I fell for the media hype on this storm. It’s breaking down. Still going to be something nasty, but the hype and “get out of the way or you will die” is highly overdone (once again). As usual with these storms. Ugh, I fell for it..again!

    Yeah yeah I get both sides. One side says well it’s better to be safe and the other side says we can wait it out it’s not as bad as the media says. It’s going to be really windy with a lot of rain basically.

  5. Hockeynut69 September 13, 2018 at 6:09 am - Reply

    The hurricane is like our area’s last year LRC. Promising storm on radar then as it approaches, it diminishes. Flooding will still be a huge concern and I wouldn’t risk it due to that. Feel bad for anyone whose house gets affected by flooding. Water in homes is no fun. I am getting tired of them calling it a storm of a lifetime. Let’s wait and see what transpires before labeling it that. That’s like naming a #1 draft pick as the best ever pick, but until that player performs on the field, it is only speculation.

  6. MattinLeavenworth September 13, 2018 at 6:21 am - Reply

    Id like to say I’m not trying to knock the coverage here as the storm is still significant. Rainfall totals are starting to come in faster than expected on the fishes in North Carolina.

    I’m seeing a much more powerful storm about to hit the phillipines. A super typhoon.

    Another side note is the San Antonio area of Texas has gotten a lot of rain lately.

    • MattinLeavenworth September 13, 2018 at 6:22 am - Reply


  7. LYITC41 September 13, 2018 at 6:26 am - Reply

    I’d rather be wrong on the high end of one of these things and have it turn out weaker than the other way around. NHC wasn’t taking any chances when Florence was a high end Cat 4. What’s amusing sometimes is TWC’s coverage and hype of these things. Almost as entertaining as some of the stuff found here.

    • Heat Miser September 13, 2018 at 10:02 am - Reply

      Their forecasts were a disaster…forecasting a possible CAT 4 or even 5 for a time, and it weakened to a strong two. Also constant changing path forecasts, many of which turned out to be wrong. I’m not saying it’s easy, but horrible forecasting ability on this storm.

      • Richard September 13, 2018 at 3:42 pm - Reply

        “many of which turned out to be wrong”
        Only need one path to be right. Of course many paths will be wrong. Thats the nature of it. That’s why they stressed all week that those were “possible” paths. Just like they do with every hurricane.
        You have a vast coastline, a storm coming at it from hundreds of miles out.
        You are being too critical.

  8. CC September 13, 2018 at 6:38 am - Reply

    It’s called precaution, if weather people were not being cautious. People would complain that they could have had better warnings. Typically the people that say storms are way over hyped would complain either way

  9. Three7 September 13, 2018 at 8:20 am - Reply

    This will still be a bad storm, but I find it funny that no one could see the sheer killing this thing.

  10. Richard September 13, 2018 at 9:06 am - Reply

    Harvey was a tropical storm inland over Houston. Look what all the rain did.
    Florence is still supposed to stall out, but where will she stall.
    I think she has some surprises up her sleeve.

  11. Johnny September 13, 2018 at 9:22 am - Reply

    Where’s gary at? This is his bread and butter. Figured he’d be all over this

  12. Richard September 13, 2018 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Gary tweeted this out yesterday morning

    “Major #HurricaneFlorence has just gone through intensification and is nearing CAT 5 strength! Take a look!”

    My question is why he has been silent on here for 2 days. He stated on his facebook live the other night that he had a good idea what Florence would do, according to the LRC. Did he know it would weaken this much due to wind sheer before landfall ? If so, I wish he would have come on here to give us his thoughts.

    • LYITC41 September 13, 2018 at 9:54 am - Reply

      Maybe it didn’t do what he thought it would do “according to the LRC”.

      • Richard September 13, 2018 at 11:13 am - Reply

        My point was he said he had a good idea what it would do, but left it at that. He never came right out and said what his thoughts were. If he had saud what his thoughts were, and then he was wrong, he would own up to it.
        Frustrating that he has been mia on here during this. And Jeff never chimes in on blog commenrs.

        • LYITC41 September 13, 2018 at 11:53 am - Reply

          He’s probably been told by the boss to keep his thoughts to himself. If he had the green light he most likely would have something to say.

        • Bill September 13, 2018 at 3:17 pm - Reply

          Miss Richard…it isn’t frustrating. Florence isn’t affecting our viewing area. There are plenty of hurricane blogs you can post on.

          • Richard September 13, 2018 at 4:44 pm - Reply

            Hey jerk. Piss off
            Name is Richard. Born with it. Plan on dying with it.
            This has turned into a hurricane blog.
            Nope. Its not affecting our viewing area. But see any talk about KC weather on here this week ?
            You might want to find another blog for the next few days.

          • Richard September 13, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

            Notice the titles of the 2020 blogs since Sept 9.
            It has been Hurricane central !
            But guessing you won’t tell Jeff and Gary to use other titles.
            And now Jeff on air talking about Florence, and even Isaac. Imagine that.

    • Heat Miser September 13, 2018 at 10:03 am - Reply

      All the weather guys were wrong about the strength of this out over the warm waters…they blew it. Again, not saying it’s easy, because obviously it’s not…but they were really wrong about the intensity of this (and the path of it really).

  13. Craig September 13, 2018 at 9:53 am - Reply

    This webcam is on a platform off the NC coast. Very cool.

    • Heat Miser September 13, 2018 at 10:04 am - Reply


  14. Fred Souder September 13, 2018 at 10:45 am - Reply

    The link that Rockdoc posted Tuesday showed the water vapor loop. It showed how much dry air was being entrained into the hurricane. All the hype about the warm water fueling the hurricane caused a lot of otherwise good hurricane forecasters to forget what they knew about wind fields and water vapor; that those are paramount in determining hurricane strength. The first 10 days of development were in water that was cooler than normal.
    In defense of the forecasters, it is hard to tune out the constant blasting by the media that the warmer than usual water will supercharge the hurricane, and such.

    • hoopsA1 September 13, 2018 at 11:46 am - Reply

      this storm will be another reason why residents dont trust the weather forecasters. The talk yesterday was for 140 mph winds hitting the coast and not its barely at 100 mph. With the media hype people that live on the coast are less likely to leave for future storms since they will take future warnings and evacuations less seriously

  15. Hockeynut69 September 13, 2018 at 11:26 am - Reply

    When you throw in the political agenda of “climate change” for this once in a lifetime event, it helps to sell papers and attract ratings. More and more, these are just normal hurricanes and / or tropical storms that occur every year and no other theory supports it. The experts are looking silly on this one but the spin doctors will somehow spin it to fit what they said would happen.

    • LYITC41 September 13, 2018 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Agreed!! These storms have been forming in the Atlantic and Gulf for centuries, some big and bad, others not so much. No one was screaming about climate change when Camille blasted the Gulf coast in Aug. of 1969, or during and after Andrew in 1992.

  16. Mr. Pete September 13, 2018 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Cat 2 and weakening…

  17. Rockdoc September 13, 2018 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Oh for Petes sake. Bashing meteorologists and the NHC. If any of you had been paying attention to the technical discussions going back to Tuesday then you would have known what the issues were. The steering currents, even at the 500MB and 850MB level started to get wonky when a trough started to form just to the west over western Tennessee. This is what helped to moderate, slow down the forward motion and turning of the hurricane in a SW direction.

    Also, don’t get caught up looking at Cat #. The surge will be quite high coupled with 2, perhaps 3 high tide events for a total of 12 to 18 feet of water not to mention waves. As reference, I worked areas in Mississippi after Katrina that had 30 feet of water!

    The surge pushes inland for quite some distance, especially in the rivers and tributaries. On top of this, add 20-40 inches of rain wanting to drain off into those rivers and creeks. Massive backup of water! Extensive, widespread flooding with Cat 1 to TS winds inland. Couple this with tornados and you have a disaster.

    So spare me all of your whining about a not “bang on” track and Category storm forecast. I’d like to see all of you survive a 4 to 5 day event with storm surge and massive flooding, no electricity for weeks and no comforts of your regular life. Until you’ve lived it then STFU!

    • Mr. Pete September 13, 2018 at 12:59 pm - Reply

      Grew up in Pensacola and been through 4-5 of these…

    • Three7 September 13, 2018 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Who here is downplaying this? I know what a cat 1 Hurricane can do, even just a regular TS can do significant damage. The real problem here is the media for making people think that all forms of life would be wiped out in the Carolinas if this thing weren’t weaker than originally projected.

      • Three7 September 13, 2018 at 1:36 pm - Reply

        As for bashing Meteorologists, I just wasn’t sure how the sheer wasn’t able to be detected before hand. If something caused it that was unexpected, then that’s understandable.

    • JoeK September 13, 2018 at 2:05 pm - Reply


      YOU clearly have emotional control issues.

    • Richard September 13, 2018 at 3:15 pm - Reply

      Sorry if it seemed that I was bashing Gary or his forecast. I wasn’t bashing anyone’s forecast.
      I am just disappointed that he has been mum on here. I miss seeing his take on this storm.
      Clearly I would not want the job. I think the NHC has done a good job in getting people to take notice.
      I don’t care for the hype from media, or watching news people hanging onto light poles !

  18. Snow Miser September 13, 2018 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    I wonder if you waited long enough, you could watch the pier come tumbling down?

  19. REAL HUMEDUDE September 13, 2018 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Armchair meteorologist on here today, would you want to be the guy down playing the hurricane if had been a Cat 4 hitting the coast?
    Not to mention the way models showed it becoming nearly stationary for 2 days pounding same places for 48 hours? They forecasted and warned based off worst potential, that’s how it SHOULD be done. You can’t evacuate millions of people at last second, they did well warning days ago it could be terrible storm as it has that potential. Mets did best job they could with the information they had at the time, hindsight is always 20/20

    • Richard September 13, 2018 at 3:58 pm - Reply

      BOOM !!
      Well put Hume

  20. Rockdoc September 13, 2018 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    As a side note, more people die due to the surge and flooding, than from the wind. And yes Joe K, I do get a little wound up about it because we were still finding bodies at Christmas after Katrina hit. Also, the total lack of scientific understanding of many people who visit this blog, who instead bash and whine.

    I don’t think media hyped this storm given the initial conditions and anticipated storm surge. It only started to degrade to a Cat 2 overnight. The surge really doesn’t decrease due to proximity and wave hights already created which are pushed in front of the storm.

    It’s still a Cat 2 with anticipated 75 mph winds thru Saturday morning. Not to mention the amount of rain that will fall.

  21. Mr. Pete September 13, 2018 at 4:11 pm - Reply

    Tropical depressions that linger can do more damage over land than fast moving cat 1 or 2 storms.

  22. Rockdoc September 13, 2018 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    If anyone one is interested in a real discussion on what is happening inside of Hurricane Florence, and possible affects check out this link. It’s not too overly technical, but these guys know their stuff.


    • Richard September 13, 2018 at 7:23 pm - Reply

      Storm surge has begun

  23. Mr. Pete September 13, 2018 at 10:10 pm - Reply

    Cat 1 and weakening.

Leave A Comment