Published: Thu, September 13, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

Don't Be Fooled by Hurricane Florence Being 'Downgraded.' It's Still Very Dangerous

Don't Be Fooled by Hurricane Florence Being 'Downgraded.' It's Still Very Dangerous

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.

Those mechanical eyes in the sky can track rainfall, the track of the storm, and other metrics helpful for forecasters keeping people updated on the ground. On Thursday morning, South 17th Street, usually teeming with commuter traffic by 6:30 a.m., was almost devoid of cars. A lot of people hearing this are remembering Hurricane Hugo in 1989.

Just as Hurricane Florence closes in on the Southeast, the area covered by hurricane-force winds has doubled - meaning far more people will get blasted with winds 74 miles per hour or greater.

Hurricane Florence's sustained wind speeds have lessened slightly to 105 miles per hour, but the storm is already bringing surges and tropical storm winds to the North Carolina shore, the National Hurricane Center said in an 11 a.m. briefing. Forecasters predict it will make landfall between Thursday and Friday.

Though Florence has been downgraded to a category two storm with 110mph (175km/h) winds, Mr Byard said it remained "very dangerous". GOES-East is one many satellites in orbit tracking the hurricane as it approaches the Carolinas. Some 3,000 people died in the aftermath of that storm. That forecast area also includes part of southwest Virginia.

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The surge will result in "large areas of deep inundation. enhanced by battering waves", the Weather Service said.

On Instagram, parenting blogger Chrissy Marie, based in North Carolina, posted a photo of her kids' hurricane party, complete with bright pink balloons. Practically, however, that won't matter when it comes to storm surge and inland rainfall.

The outer bands of Hurricane Florence have reached Wilmington, with weather officials saying the storm will bring unprecedented rain to the region.

National Guard soldiers from the state, North Carolina and Virginia are mobilizing to prepare for hurricane recovery efforts.

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She added: "The feeling is that it's the wind that's going to be the issue rather than rain and we're probably looking at gale-force winds". The surge won't be as bad as it potentially could have been, however, and the winds won't be as strong.

Duke Energy, a power company in the Carolinas, estimated that one million to three million customers could lose electricity because of the storm and that it could take weeks to restore.

"As soon as a storm is about to hit, all traffic stops in and out of the area until the storm calms down and the roads are clear", she says.

Manure lagoons are about as pleasant as they sound-vast open-air ponds of manure located next to the many hog farms near the North Carolina coast.

Outside this zone of destructive winds, damaging winds are still likely, even some distance inland from the coast, which would lead to minor structural damage, downed trees and widespread power outages. Researchers from Stony Brook University forecasted the storm based on existing global conditions.

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