Hurricane Florence is expected to undergo rapid intensification today, and will likely become a major Hurricane again soon. So how will that affect WNC? There are a variety of solutions still on the table, so I will try and dissect them over the next few paragraphs.
Will WNC Recieve Rainfall From Florence?
Yes, it is likely that we will see at least a few showers from Florence if it makes landfall. Depending on exactly where it makes landfall though will determine how much rainfall WNC sees. The most recent European model run indicates that an entry of Florence near Myrtle Beach would allow the low to meander into WNC dropping over 20” of rain in some locations.
This seems to be overdone somewhat, but I could certainly see some 20”+ rainfall totals near the coast of NC.
The GFS and U.K. models both have landfall occurring between Wilmington, NC and Atlantic Beach, NC. That trajectory would limit the amount of rainfall that falls in the mountains of WNC. Below you can see the track maps for both models.
The Big Picture
If landfall occurs south of Wilmington, it appears that Florence will have a much greater impact on the WNC. That angle of entry will allow more moisture to bank up against the mountains, causing a concerning flooding threat. If models move back towards a more southerly solution, I will become increasingly concerned about flooding in WNC. At the moment, I am extremely concerned about flooding in the Eastern part of the state including Raleigh. Those locations stand a much better chance of seeing flooding compared to the Western part of the state. Locations like Boone, NC though should be aware that heavy rain could funnel to that area easier than locations like Asheville in the western part of the state. Check back soon as this is an evolving situation.