Author Archives: jay_hobgood

Tropical Depression Forms Over Gulf of California

Tropical Depression Nineteen-E formed over the Gulf of California on Wednesday morning.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Tropical Depression Nineteen-E was located at latitude 26.3°N and longitude 110.9°W which put it about 35 miles (55 km) northeast of Loreto, Mexico.  It was moving toward the north at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 30 m.p.h. (50 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1004 mb.

The circulation of Tropical Depression Nineteen-E was still organizing .  There was a cluster of thunderstorms near the center of circulation.  Most of the stronger storms were east of the center.  Several short bands of showers and thunderstorms were beginning to develop north and south of the center of circulation.  Storms near the center were generating some upper level divergence which was pumping mass away to the northeast of the depression.

Tropical Depression Nineteen-E will move through an environment somewhat favorable for intensification during the next 12 hours.  The water in the Gulf of California is very warm and the depression will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 31°C.  An upper level trough west of California will produce southwesterly winds which will cause moderate vertical wind shear.  Tropical Depression Nineteen-E could intensify during the next 12 hours and it has a chance to become a tropical storm.

The upper level trough west of California will steer Tropical Depression Nineteen-E toward the north-northeast.  On its anticipated track the depression will reach the west coast of Mexico near Guaymas in about 12 hours.  It could be a tropical storm when it reaches the coast.  It will bring some gusty winds, but locally heavy rain is the greatest risk.  There is the potential for flash floods in parts of Sinaloa, Sonora and Chihuahua.  The lower portion of Tropical Depression Nineteen will weaken quickly after it makes landfall and moves over mountains in western Mexico.  The upper portion of the circulation and some of the moist air will be transported farther northeast and the remnants of the circulation could enhance rainfall farther inland.

Florence Still Producing Heavy Rain and Floods in Carolinas

Although former Hurricane Florence weakened to a tropical depression on Sunday, it was still producing heavy rain and causing floods in portions of the Carolinas.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Tropical Depression Florence was located at latitude 34.6°N and longitude 82.2°W which put it about 25 miles (40 km) south-southeast of Greenville, South Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the north at 14 m.p.h. (22 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

Slow movement of Tropical Depression Florence resulted in persistent heavy rain over portions of North Carolina and South Carolina.  The National Weather Service Office in Newport/Morehead City, North Carolina measured 25.20 inches (64.0 cm) of rain with Florence.  The airport in Wilmington, North Carolina measured 23.59 inches (59.9 cm) of rain.  A Remotely operated Automated Weather Station (RAWS) in Marion, South Carolina measured 18.13 inches (46.0 cm) of rain.  There were reports of up to ten inches (25.4 cm) at some locations around Charlotte, North Carolina.  Runoff of the persistent heavy rain has caused floods in many locations.  The Cape Fear River near Chinquapin, North Carolina has risen above the previous record flood level.  Parts of the Cape Fear River, Neuse River, Trent River and Lumber River are at major flood levels.  Minor and moderate flooding is occurring in numerous other places around North Carolina and South Carolina.

Tropical Depression Florence has started to move toward the north.  Florence will move into western Carolina on Sunday night.  It will move over eastern Tennessee, western Virginia, eastern Kentucky, and West Virginia on its way toward Ohio on Monday.  One primary rainband on the eastern side of the circulation will continue to drop heavy rain over parts of eastern South Carolina for a few more hours.  Convergence into the low will produce heavy rain that could move into western Virginia and West Virginia on Monday.  Flash Flood Watches have been issued for South Carolina, North Carolina, western Virginia and southern West Virginia.

Typhoon Mangkhut Makes Landfall West of Hong Kong

Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall west of Hong Kong on Sunday.  At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Sunday the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located at latitude 22.3°N and longitude 111.0°E which put it about 65 miles (105 km) east-southeast of Yulin, China.  Mangkhut was moving toward the west-northwest at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 979 mb.

Typhoon Mangkhut made landfall on the coast of China near Yangjiang on Sunday.  The maximum sustained wind speed was near 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 115 m.p.h. (185 km/h).  There were reports that strong winds blew out windows in high rise buildings in Hong Kong.  There were strong gusty winds along the coast between Hong Kong and Yangjiang.  Strong winds blowing water toward the coast also produced a storm surge along that section of the coast.  The highest surge occurred just to the east of where the center made landfall.

Typhoon Mangkhut will drop heavy rain over Zizhiqu, Zhaungzu and Guangxi provinces while it moves farther inland.  Mangkhut will weaken slowly as it moves slowly across southern China.  The locally heavy rain could cause flash floods, especially in regions of steeper terrain.  Reports of damage and casualties caused when Typhoon Mangkhut move across northern Luzon were still coming in.

Typhoon Mangkhut Approaches Southern China

After causing significant destruction over northern Luzon, Typhoon Mangkhut approached southern China on Saturday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located at latitude 21.0°N and longitude 114.4°E which put it about 130 miles (205 km) south-southeast of Hong Kong.  Mangkhut was moving toward the west-northwest at 21 m.p.h. (34 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 100 m.p.h. (160 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 125 m.p.h. (200 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 961 mb.

The inner core of Typhoon Mangkhut was disrupted when it moved across the northern end of Luzon.  The inner eyewall weakened and a larger ragged eye was at the center of the typhoon.  Recent visible satellite images seemed to show an inner rainband wrapping more tightly around the center of circulation and the inner core of Typhoon Mangkhut could be reorganizing.  A smaller eye could be redeveloping at the center of circulation.

Even though it has weakened since yesterday, Typhoon Mangkhut has a very large circulation.  Winds to typhoon force extend out about 70 miles (110 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 350 miles (565 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Mangkhut is 16.5.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 28.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Index (HWISI) is 45.0.  Typhoon Mangkhut is capable of causing widespread serious damage.

Typhoon Mangkhut is moving southwest of a subtropical ridge which is steering the typhoon quickly toward the west-northwest.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Mangkhut will pass south of Hong Kong in a few hours.  Mangkhut will make landfall on the coast of south China near Yangjiang in about 12 hours.  Typhoon Mangkhut will bring strong gusty winds to southern China.  It will cause a storm surge of up to 10 feet (3 meters) along the coast.  Mangkhut will also drop heavy rain and it will cause flash floods.

Tropical Storm Florence Still Dropping Heavy Rain on the Carolinas

Tropical Storm Florence was still dropping heavy rain on parts of the Carolinas on Saturday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Florence was located at latitude 33.6°N and longitude 79.9°W which put it about 45 miles (75 km) south-southwest of Florence, South Carolina.  Tropical Storm Florence was moving toward the west at 2 m.p.h. (3 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 997 mb.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Surf City, North Carolina.

Although the inner core of Tropical Storm Florence continues to spin down slowly, the circulation covers much of North Carolina, South Carolina, and eastern Georgia.  The center and much of the circulation around Florence is over land, but strong inflow east of the center continues to transport moist air over North Carolina.  The strongest winds are occurring over the Atlantic Ocean in two rainbands east of the center.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 150 miles (240 km) east of the center of circulation over the Atlantic Ocean.  The winds over North Carolina and South Carolina are generally blowing at less than tropical storm force.  Thunderstorms in some rainbands could produce gusts to tropical storm force.

Tropical Storm Florence has moved very slowly toward the west during the past 24 hours.  The extremely slow motion has allowed bands of showers and thunderstorms to persist over locations and rainfall totals have exceed a foot (0.3 meters) in some places.  Parts of the Cape Fear River and Trent River have already reached major flood levels.  Portions of the Neuse River are at moderate flood levels.  Sections of Interstates 95 and 40 are closed because of high water.

The high pressure system that has been blocking a northward movement of Tropical Storm Florence will start to shift to the east on Sunday.  The eastward movement of the high will allow Tropical Storm Florence to move a little faster and turn toward the northwest.  Florence could be over western North Carolina on Sunday evening.  Wind blowing up the eastern slopes of the will enhance rainfall.  Tropical Storm Florence will continue to drop heavy rain over North Carolina and South Carolina on Sunday.  The heavy rain could cause rivers and streams to go higher.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Helene neared the Azores, Tropical Storm Isaac weakened to a tropical wave over the Caribbean Sea and Tropical Storm Joyce was pulled northeast in the wake of Helene.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Helene was located at latitude 40.2°N and longitude 32.1°W which put it about 75 miles (120 km) northwest of Flores, Azores.  Helene was moving toward the northeast at 24 m.p.h. (39 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 989 mb.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for all of the Azores.

At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Saturday the center of Tropical Storm Joyce was located at latitude 33.1°N and longitude 39.6°W which put it about 785 miles (1260 km) west-southwest of the Azores.  Joyce was moving toward the east-northeast at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1002 mb.

Powerful Typhoon Mangkhut Hits Northern Luzon

Powerful Typhoon Mangkhut hit northern Luzon on Friday.  At 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located at latitude 18.2°N and longitude 121.5°W which put it about 60 miles (95 km) east of Laoag, Philippines.  Mangkhut was moving toward the west-northwest at 21 m.p.h. (35 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 165 m.p.h. (270 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 200 m.p.h. (320 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 908 mb.

Mangkhut is a large and dangerous typhoon.  Winds to typhoon force extend out about 110 miles (175 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extend out about 330 miles (530 km) from the center.  The outer rainbands around Typhoon Mangkhut stretch from Manila, Philippines to southern Taiwan.

The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) is 36.8.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) is 38.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) is 75.3.  Typhoon Mangkhut is bigger than Hurricane Katrina was when Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale over the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.  Typhoon Mangkhut has the potential to cause extensive catastrophic damage over parts of Luzon.

Typhoon Mangkhut will cause extensive catastrophic wind damage over northern Luzon.  It will also drop heavy rain and there will be flash floods.  The flooding will be worse in areas of steeper slopes.  There will be a significant storm surge on the coast of extreme northeastern Luzon.

Typhoon Mangkhut will weaken while it crosses northern Luzon.  Mangkhut will then move quickly off to the west-northwest. On its anticipated track Typhoon Mangkhut could be near Hong Kong in about 30 hours.

Hurricane Florence Makes Landfall Near Wilmington, North Carolina

Hurricane Florence made landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday morning.  The National Hurricane Center stated that the center of Hurricane Florence officially made landfall near Wrightsville Beach or about five miles east of Wilmington at 7:15 a.m. EDT on Friday.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) at the time of landfall.  Hurricane Florence moved slowly toward the west after landfall.

At 2:00 p.m. EDT on Friday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 34.0°N and longitude 78.4°W which put it about 35 miles (55 km/h) east-northeast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the west at 5 m.p.h. (8 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 75 m.p.h. (120 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 968 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Bogue Inlet, North Carolina including Pamlico Sound.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for the portions of the coast from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River and from Bogue Inlet to Duck, North Carolina including Albemarle Sound.

Hurricane Florence did produce sustained winds to hurricane force when hit North Carolina.  A National Data Buoy Center C-MAN station (CLKN7) reported a sustained wind speed of 81 m.p.h. (131 km/h) and a wind gust of 101 m.p.h. (163 km/h).  A buoy east of the center of Hurricane Florencereported a wind gust of 112 m.p.h. (180 km/h) near the time of landfall.  The airport at Wilmington, North Carolina reported a wind gust of 87 m.p.h. (140 km/h).

The center of Hurricane Florence has been inland for a few hours and the circulation is gradually spinning down.  There is still a well organized center of circulation, but they eye has filled in with clouds and showers.  The strongest winds are occurring in rainbands that are still out over the Atlantic Ocean.  Friction is reducing the wind speed in the part of the circulation over land.

Hurricane Florence continues to pose serious risks for southeastern North Carolina and eastern South Carolina.  A prolonged period of tropical storm force winds and occasional gusts to hurricane force could bring down trees and add to the widespread power outages.  On the eastern side of Hurricane Florence the wind will push water toward the shore and the threat of coastal flooding continues.  Bands of showers and thunderstorms will drop heavy rain and flash flooding is likely near rivers and streams that are already at bankful.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Helene was speeding toward the Azores, Tropical Depression Isaac was moving over the eastern Caribbean Sea and Tropical Storm Joyce was moving west of Helene.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Helene was located at latitude 32.9°N and longitude 36.3°W which put it about 655 miles (1055 km) southwest of the Azores.  Helene was moving toward the north  at 23 m.p.h. (37 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 70 m.p.h. (110km/h) and there were wind gusts to 85 m.p.h. (135 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 988 mb.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for all of the Azores.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Depression Isaac was located at latitude 14.9°N and longitude 67.3°W.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 35 m.p.h. (55km/h) and there were wind gusts to 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1007 mb.

At 11:00 a.m. EDT on Friday the center of Tropical Storm Joyce was located at latitude 31.6°N and longitude 44.6°W which put it about 1090 miles (1755 km) west-southwest of the Azores.  Joyce was moving toward the south at 8 m.p.h. (13 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

Hurricane Florence Wobbles Closer to North Carolina

Hurricane Florence wobbled closer to the coast of North Carolina on Thursday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 34.0°N and longitude 76.8°W which put it about 60 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the northwest at 6 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 90 m.p.h. (145 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 105 m.p.h. (165 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 956 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.  A Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from Edisto Beach to South Santee River, South Carolina.  A Tropical Storm Warning was also in effect for the portion of the coast from Duck, North Carolina to Cape Charles Light, Virginia and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

Hurricane Florence is already affecting the coast.  National Data Buoy Center C-MAN station CLKN7 at Cape Lookout, North Carolina reported a sustained wind speed of 81 m.p.h. (131 km/h) and a wind gust of 101 m.p.h. (163 km/h).  Storm surges were already occurring along portions of the coast east of the center of Hurricane Florence where the winds were pushing water toward the coast.  The highest surge appeared to be in the area of the western part of Pamlico Sound near the mouth of the Neuse River.  There were scattered reports of wind damage and power outages.

A high pressure system over the northeastern U.S. is blocking the northward movement of Hurricane Florence.  The high is steering Florence slowly toward the northwest.  On its anticipated track Hurricane Florence will make a landfall near Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday.  Florence could move a little south of due west after landfall.  The center will pass a little north of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and then move toward Columbia, South Carolina.  Florence is likely to continue to weaken slowly.  Because of the slow movement, many locations will experience extended periods of gusty winds.  Power outages are likely to become more widespread on Friday.  Hurricane Florence will drop locally heavy rain.  Locations where rainbands are essentially station could receive over a foot (0.3 meters) of rain.  Serious fresh water flooding is likely to develop on Friday and Saturday.

Elsewhere over the Atlantic Ocean, Tropical Storm Helene generated a Tropical Storm Watch for all of the Azores, Tropical Storm Isaac sped across the eastern Caribbean Sea and former Subtropical Storm Joyce made a transition to Tropical Storm Joyce.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Helene was located at latitude 28.6°N and longitude 36.5°W which put it about 885 miles (1425 km) southwest of the Azores.  Helene was moving toward the north at 21 m.p.h. (34 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h) and there were gusts to 80 m.p.h. (130km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 992 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude14.9°N and longitude 64.4°W which put it about 195 miles (315 km) south of St. Croix.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 16 m.p.h. (26 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Joyce was located latitude 32.9°N and longitude 44.4°W which put it about 1040 miles (1670 km) west-southwest of the Azores.  Joyce was moving toward the south-southwest at 7 m.p.h. (11 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 40 m.p.h. (65 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1003 mb.

Dangerous Typhoon Mangkhut Approaches Northern Luzon

Dangerous Typhoon Mangkhut approached northern Luzon on Thursday night.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Typhoon Mangkhut was located at latitude 16.2°N and longitude 126.2°E which put it about 400 miles (645 km) east-northeast of Manila.  Mangkhut was moving toward the northwest at 14 m.p.h.  The maximum sustained wind speed was 170 m.p.h. (280 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 205 m.p.h. (335 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 905 mb.

Typhoon Mangkhut has a large powerful circulation.  There is a circular eye with a diameter of about 30 miles (50 km) at the center of circulation.  A number of bands of showers and thunderstorms are revolving around the core of the circulation.  Storms around the core were generating strong upper level divergence which was pumping mass away from the typhoon in all directions.

Winds to typhoon force extended out about 100 miles (160 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 265 miles (425 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Typhoon Mangkhut was 38.5.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 33.7 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 72.2.  Those indices indicate that Typhoon Mangkhut is very similar in size and strength to what Hurricane Katrina was when Katrina was a Category 5 hurricane over the Gulf of Mexico in 2005.

Typhoon Mangkhut will move through an environment that is very favorable for strong typhoons during the next 12 to 18 hours.  Mangkhut will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 30°C.  It will move through an area where there will be little vertical wind shear.  It is difficult for a typhoon or hurricane to continue to generate enough upper level divergence to stay extremely strong for a long period of time.  However, Typhoon Mangkhut could remain the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale until it reaches northern Luzon.  Mangkhut will weaken when the center moves over northern Luzon.

Typhoon Mangkhut is moving south of a subtropical ridge over the Western North Pacific Ocean.  The ridge is steering Mangkhut toward the northwest and that general motion is forecast to continue.  On its anticipated track Typhoon Mangkhut will reach northern Luzon east of Tuguegarao in about 18 hours.  Mangkhut is capable of causing extensive catastrophic damage.  It will produce extremely strong winds over northern Luzon.  There will be a significant storm surge at the coast.  Locally heavy rain will cause flash floods.

Hurricane Florence Moves Closer to the Carolinas

Hurricane Florence moved closer to the Carolinas on Wednesday.  At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Wednesday the center of Hurricane Florence was located at latitude 32.0°N and longitude 73.7°W which put it about 280 miles (455 km) east-southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina.  Florence was moving toward the northwest at 17 m.p.h. (28 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 110 m.p.h. (175 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 130 m.p.h. (210 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 957 mb.

A Hurricane Warning was in effect for the portion of the coast from South Santee River, South Carolina to Duck, North Carolina including Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds.  A Hurricane Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from Edisto Beach, South Carolina to South Santee River, South Carolina.  A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the portion of coast from Duck, North Carolina to the North Carolina-Virginia border.  A Tropical Storm Watch was in effect for the portion of the coast from the North Carolina-Virginia border to Cape Charles Light, Virginia and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

The wind speed in Hurricane Florence decreased on Wednesday but the circulation increased in size.  It appeared that another eyewall replacement cycle could have started.  Satellite microwave images suggested that there could be two eyewalls and a reconnaissance plane reported a double wind maxima.  Both of those things could be evidence of concentric eyewalls.  In addition, counterclockwise flow around a small upper level low near Florida may have produced southerly winds that blew toward the south side of Hurricane Frances.  Those winds may have inhibited the upper level divergence to the south of Florence.  Since the hurricane was unable to pump out as much mass, the surface pressure increased and the wind speed decreased.

The circulation of Hurricane Florence increased in size on Wednesday.  Winds to hurricane force extended out about 80 miles (130 km) from the center of circulation.  Winds to tropical storm force extended out about 200 miles (320 km) from the center.  The Hurricane Intensity Index (HII) for Hurricane Florence was 19.2.  The Hurricane Size Index (HSI) was 25.5 and the Hurricane Wind Intensity Size Index (HWISI) was 44.7.  Those indices are very similar to the numbers for Hurricane Jeanne just before Jeanne made landfall in southeast Florida in 2004.

Hurricane Florence will move through an environment favorable for intensification on Thursday.  Florence will move over water where the Sea Surface Temperature is near 29°C.  Florence will move farther away from the upper low near Florida and the low should not inhibit divergence to the south of the hurricane as much.  In addition, Hurricane Florence will move over the warm water in the Gulf Stream about 6 to 12 hours before it reaches the coast.  It will be able to extract extra energy at that time.  If the inner core becomes more organized, then Hurricane Florence could intensify on Thursday.  If the inner core does not get better organized, then Florence will likely maintain its current intensity or weaken slowly.

Hurricane Florence will move near the western end of the subtropical high pressure system over the western Atlantic Ocean.  The high will steer Florence toward the northwest on Thursday.  On its anticipated track the center of Hurricane Florence will be near the coast of North Carolina on Thursday night.  A ridge over the eastern U.S. is likely to block the northward motion of Hurricane Florence when it reaches the coast.  The ridge will steer Florence slowly toward the west-southwest on Friday and Saturday.

Hurricane Florence will have the impact of a major hurricane regardless of the actual sustained wind speed.  The large circulation and slow rate of movement when Florence reaches the coast means that locations could experience strong winds for extended periods of time.  Wind damage and power outages could be extensive.  Some places in North Carolina had a rainy summer and strong winds could uproot trees.  Hurricane Florence will produce a dangerous storm surge along the coast.  The surge could exceed 10 feet (3 meters) in some locations east of where the center makes landfall.  The slow forward speed also means that Hurricane Florence could drop locally heavy rain and severe flooding could occur.

Elsewhere the rest of the Atlantic Ocean was also very active.  Tropical Storm Isaac was nearing the Lesser Antilles, Hurricane Helene was weakening south of the Azores and Subtropical Storm Joyce formed northwest of Helene.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Tropical Storm Isaac was located at latitude 15.3°N and longitude 58.0°W which put it about 220 miles (355 km) east of Dominica.  Isaac was moving toward the west at 20 m.p.h. (32 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 50 m.p.h. (80 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 65 m.p.h. (105 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.  Tropical Storm Warnings were in effect for Guadeloupe, Martinique and Dominica.  Tropical Storm Watches were in effect for Antigua, Montserrat, St, Kitts and Nevis, Saba and St. Eustatius, St. Martin and St. Maarten.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Hurricane Helene was located at latitude 22.4°N and 36.9°W which put it about 1270 mile (2045 km) south-southwest of the Azores.  Helene was moving toward the north at 13 m.p.h. (20 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 80 m.p.h. (130 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 95 m.p.h. (155 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 983 mb.

At 11:00 p.m. EDT on Thursday the center of Subtropical Storm Joyce was located at latitude 15.3°N and longitude 46.6°W which put it about 910 miles (1465 km) west-southwest of the Azores.  Joyce was moving toward the southwest at 6 m.p.h. (10 km/h).  The maximum sustained wind speed was 45 m.p.h. (75 km/h) and there were wind gusts to 60 m.p.h. (95 km/h).  The minimum surface pressure was 1006 mb.