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Florence Causing Anxiety For Many
Models continue to waver as to where exactly Florence will track, but it is becoming more and more apparent that landfall along the East Coast is likely. The questions is, where? That will become more clear over the next few days, but right now one just has to understand that too much is going on in the atmosphere to get a clear picture. With a front moving off the East Coast in the next few days, it complicates the steering of Florence. History shows that no other Hurricane forming at this area in the ocean has ever made landfall in the United States, but if there was one with a chance... its Florence.
Currently, aircraft flying into Florence are only finding winds that are Tropical Storm strength. IF you look at the GIF above, this shows the development of Florence over the afternoon (Sept 8th). If one look closely, you can see the dry or reddish air that has been entraining into the circulation throughout the day. That is what has keep Florence from strengthening today, along with a bit of shear aloft. Looking ahead on the image, you can see how air of higher moisture content exists in front of Florence. This, along with very warm sea surface conditions ahead of Florence are why models predict rapid development.
Upwelling is a process where cooler water is pulled to the surface under a hurricane and in most case it weakens the storm. Choppy waves and high winds bring up cooler water from deep down, settling things to some extent. As a storm moves over water that is not as deep (i.e. Caribbean), the waves upwell water that is the same temperature as what was previously on the surface. Thus, a natural calming mechanism within the atmosphere is severely limited when the storm moves over shallower water, which has been warmed to a greater depth. Florence ramped up considerably the other day, and that produced a great bit of upwelling. That along with dry air slowed the storm, and now there is a question as to if the trough produced by Tropical Storm Gordon will even affect it. That trough was going to help pull Florence away from the US, but a slowing of progression by Florence will limit the trough effect.
What To Expect?
For coastal areas, I am thinking that the Coast of NC should be taking the most caution. The re-curve is a very real thing and could cause this storm to slam right into The Outer Banks. South Carolina areas should also be preparing to act. But with that, I remind you all that we cannot take these models as gospel. Locations in GA & FL cannot be ruled out and could very well be the place where Florence makes landfall. Both NC & SC have already declared States of Emergency, and I believe that is a good call because it allows resources to get into place. We as a nation try our best to be prepared for Hurricanes and in order to do that we have to get resources moved. These motions allow that to occur. I will be posting articles daily on Florence's progression, so check back soon for more information.