Afternoon Model Runs Correct South
The track for Hurricane Florence has again changed this afternoon, and those changes could mean that Florence pushes farther inland on a flatter path that thrusts the storm all the way into WNC. Models are finally beginning to be able to key in on small scale atmospheric features that in the end will determine Florences exact track.
What Are Those Features?
One feature that will play a huge part in where Hurricane Florence makes landfall is a ridge that develops to the northeast. This ridge provides the push necessary to kick Florence ashore. Hurricanes desire to take the path of least resistance, and that is typically over water unless there is something in the atmosphere to push it. Unfortunately, models are beginning to pick up on this small feature that will kick Florence into NC.
So What Does This Ridge Mean For WNC?
Well, depending on how strong the ridge actually is, will determine how far inland Florence pushes. If the ridge persists, and isn’t broken down, like some models suggest.. we could experience tropical storm force winds and extremely heavy rainfall Saturday here in WNC. As you can see on the 12z HRWF Model depicted below. This model actually shows Hurricane force winds making it all the way into the Foothills of NC. I think that that might be a bit overdone, but high winds over 60mph could be possible if that high pressure pushes the storm that far inland.
On the other side of the spectrum though is the HMON Hurricane Model. Below you can see the its simulated radar image for the same time period. As you can see the HMON does not model the ridge as strong, therefore the storm wants to recurve more and does not push as far inland. That track would really limit any rainfall here in WNC, and winds would only gust to 30-40mph. So as you can see, this is going to be extremely unpredictable for WNC. Earlier in the week, before this ridge began to show up, I felt better about the storms trajectory and limited affects on WNC. Now looking at this ridge (that was hinted at by the Euro a few days ago) show up on most models today, and I have changed my tune on how this will affect WNC. I will keep a continued eye on this and make sure to keep you all updated as much as possible and will be doing a live update on my youtube page at 4:30pm today so stay tuned!