Florence's Impact to SW NC
Good Morning Folks! Although the track of Hurricane Florence is not set in stone, the models have shifted the storm further southwest since we last spoke, making landfall initially along the NC coast (around Wilmington) and again along the SC lowcountry, with a final push inland toward our region early next week. This stalling of the system and the eventual meandering toward our region will produce historical rainfall amounts for most of the Carolinas, certainly the coastal regions and with the new wrinkle of it pushing into our neck of the woods, we now are forecasting for a heavy rain event for SW NC early next week. We should mention again that this track is not a lock but we encourage everyone who live near bodies of water that are prone to flooding to prepare and also folks who may be susceptible to landslides, in particular along the escarpment area (Lake Toxaway to Cashiers to Highlands).
Today (Wednesday) through Friday will be very important related to Florence's impact to our region as the models begin to fine tune the track, however by tomorrow the coastal areas will begin to deal with the impacts of the system. Scattered thunderstorms are a good bet this afternoon as we remain in easterly flow and moisture levels remain sky high, setting the stage for a muggy and wet afternoon. Temps hold to the low 80's across the lower elevations and dip back into the low - mid 60's for most of the region tonight, with showers gradually winding down past midnight.
Thursday and Friday both reduce shower coverage across SW NC due to a change in the overall flow from the east to the northeast, as Florence pulls in drier air from our neighbors to the west. Isolated showers and thunderstorms are likely each afternoon and with the upper level ridge still in place, temps will rise to the mid 80's both afternoons. Although temps rise compared to today, moisture levels decrease and this should offset the mugginess for most of the area.
Saturday plays out much like Friday with perhaps slightly better shower chances and by Sunday widespread rain will begin to blossom from the escarpment area and drift westward, setting up shop through Monday and possibly Tuesday. We should emphasis that this is not set in stone but a scenario that would definitely bring heavy rainfall to the area and enough to cause flooding and landslides for folks along the SC state line. We will write another discussion late Thursday afternoon to ensure the models ingest enough data and fingers crossed they are not catching onto something.