Hurricane Florence has strengthened to a category 3 storm, making it the first major hurricane of the 2018 Atlantic season. The storm is still growing and has maximum estimated winds of 120 mph.
Against all odds, and model forecasts, Florence continues to grow in strength. The storm is situated in relatively cool ocean water and is located in an area with ample wind shear. Normally, these factors would work together to weaken a hurricane, but Florence keeps growing.
Lots of Uncertainty in Florence’s Track
Hurricane Florence has surprised experienced forecasters and busted multiple weather models by strengthening instead of weakening. Because of this, the track for this storm is highly uncertain. High pressure west of Florence will either steer the storm north and back out into the ocean, or directly into the east coast.
The official track from the National Hurricane Center takes the storm west and northwest, but forecasters aren’t ready to say whether it’ll hit the east coast or not. The tweet below from Meteorologist Ryan Maue shows the large differences in current modeling with half of the models taking the storm back out into the Atlantic and the other ramming Florence right into the coast.
Very concerning shift in the EPS ensemble guidance with Hurricane #Florence … must now seriously consider this storm a U.S. landfall threat.
Still considerable uncertainty about a possible / hopeful turn away from the coast out to sea.
Continue to monitor thru the weekend. pic.twitter.com/m692qfL48s
— Ryan Maue | weathermodels.com (@RyanMaue) September 5, 2018