Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Science | By Michele Flores

Man-made climate change is boosting Hurricane Florence's predicted rainfall by 50 percent

Man-made climate change is boosting Hurricane Florence's predicted rainfall by 50 percent

Florence could bring wind-driven storm surges of seawater as high as 13 feet (4 meters) and NHC Director Ken Graham said on Facebook they could push in as far as 2 miles (3 km).

The storm fell to a Category 2 Wednesday night, but faced with new forecasts that showed a more southerly threat, Georgia's governor joined his counterparts in Virginia and North and SC in declaring a state of emergency, and some residents who had thought they were safely out of range boarded up their homes.

As of 11 p.m., the storm was centered 280 miles east southeast of Wilmington, N.C., and was moving northwest at 17 mph, and this general motion, accompanied by a gradual decrease in forward speed, was expected to continue through Thursday.

The storm's winds may have weakened in recent days - they are now at 110mph (175km/h) - but there are fears Florence's slow-moving nature could bring different problems.

Florence should continue losing strength as it menders along the coast, weakening further as the storm travels across inland SC on Saturday, the weather service said.

A tropical storm warning is in effect for north of Duck, NC, to Cape Charles Light, VA, and for Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort.

"You put your life at risk by staying", North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

Florence's hurricane force winds now extends 80 miles from the center, while the tropical storm force winds reaches almost 200 miles, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane season is upon us again, as the sobering flurry of news about Hurricane Florence and the ensuing evacuations in the Carolinas reminds us.

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Officials in several states have declared states of emergency, including in the Carolinas, Georgia, Virginia and Maryland, where coastal areas are still recovering from summer storms. The outer rain bands from Hurricane Florence have begun to come ashore in North Carolina.

A hurricane's numerical classification tends to dominate the headlines, but it tells only part of the story - it rates a storm's wind speeds - and not necessarily the most life-threatening part.

Isaac became the fifth hurricane of the season late Sunday and was initially expected to strengthen, potentially becoming a Cat 2 storm with 100 miles per hour winds, as it crossed warm ocean waters.

The hurricane centre also said the threat of tornadoes was increasing as the storm neared shore. As of now, Florence is due to make landfall very early Friday morning, somewhere in the Carolinas.

FlightAware expects the number of cancellations to rise, although "the limited number of hubs being impacted by Florence will likely limit the scale of disruption that cascades through the national air travel system", spokeswoman Sara Orsi said in a statement.

"We're a little anxious about the storm surge so we came down to see what the river is doing now", said Linda Smith, 67, a retired nonprofit director.

The head of Duke Energy Corp.'s North Carolina operations says it could take weeks to restore electricity if the company's prediction that 1 million to 3 million of its 4 million customers lose power.

"I'm going to get killed on the road,"' Bradley said. The heaviest rainfall is still expected in South and North Carolina, with upwards of 30 inches of rainfall possible in some locations. REUTERS/Randall HillDennis Kernodle talks on the phone during storm preparations of his oceanfront home ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, U.S. September 12, 2018. Roper St. Francis spokesman Brian DeRoy said all of their major facilities will be open during the storm, but they ask patients with procedures scheduled to call and confirm.

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