Hurricane Florence is forecast to crawl up to the North Carolina coast late this week and turn slowly left — a development that would smash the Tar Heel State with life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and inundating rain while also endangering a large portion of South Carolina.
Florence, one of the strongest storms on the Eastern Seaboard in decades, is a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph. It is predicted to deliver tropical-storm-force winds by noon Thursday to North Carolina’s coast, and hurricane-force winds and dangerous storm surges by late Thursday or early Friday.
Forecast models predict Florence’s center may slow to a crawl just off North Carolina early Friday and make a southwesterly turn — punishing the coast while moving perhaps only 2 to 3 mph. When and where it makes landfall is unclear.
Florence is becoming more of a threat to more people – now including some in Georgia – in more ways with a giant dose of uncertainty on top. The more it stalls, the more it rains. The National Hurricane Center is calling for 20 to 30 inches (50 to 75 centimeters) of rain in North Carolina, with spots up to 40 inches (100 centimeters). And the more it hovers just offshore – a distinct possibility – the more potentially deadly storm surge it pushes on-shore.
Meteorologists from our sister stations along the East Coast are providing live updates twice daily on our website. The next update is 7:05 p.m. You can watch their live discussion below: