Models Indicate Rainfall Will Be Greatest Threat In WNC
Models have began to close into the consensus that Hurricane Florence will make landfall somewhere around Wilmington, NC late tomorrow evening or early Friday morning. Rainfall totals will reach over 20” on the Cost of NC, and storm surge could be over 20 feet. Back here in WNC, model trends over the past 36 hours paint an entirely different picture then what was originally thought.. and now we are in the path of a dissipating Florence. Below you can see the European Model and its rainfall totals. Notice the wind field at landfall, and the massive rainfall totals. One can also see the precipitation maximum showing up along the Blue Ridge Escarpment. This is worrisome to me, because these signatures always seem to increase as the storm approaches.
10”+ of Rainfall & Mudslides?
That would be worse case situation here in WNC, but it cannot be ruled out. If Florence is able to orient a feeder band over WNC Saturday night and into Sunday, extreme rainfall amounts are certainly possible. Orographic lift will enhance these bands, similar to have snowfall is enhanced as it approaches WNC from the south. The mountains provide extra lift, and in turn that leads to heavier rainfall. You shouldn’t panic though. There is not reason to. Just prepare and pick up enough supplies for your family to go without power for a few days. Below is the most recent HRWF Simulated Radar. As you can see, it unloads on WNC Saturday night, and into Sunday. This is the time frame I am concerned about for WNC. Stay tuned, and check back for another update soon.