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Scott Pecoriello

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Florence has spent several days as a powerful category 4 monster, nearly reaching category 5 status earlier this week for a short period of time. Since then, under-modeled shear and dry air have caused Florence to weaken a bit, going from winds around 140 mph to winds of 110 mph, now making it a category 2 hurricane. This has unfortunately sent a confusing message to the public, bringing forth the idea that this weakening will mean lower impacts for the Carolinas and southeast coastline. We want to stress that this will not be the case. The fact that winds have lowered by 30 mph will not make this storm non-catastrophic, and also begs a bigger question about the Saffir-Simpson scale and whether it does more harm than good when categorizing hurricanes by strength. The Saffir-Simpson scale only takes in one aspect of a hurricane: the wind. The problem with this…

Hurricane Florence remains a powerful category 4 hurricane with winds sustained as high as 130 mph as the storm continues to grow in size, with it going through yet another eye-wall replacement cycle this morning. With just over 24 hours to go before we see initial impacts from Florence along the North Carolina coastline, we’re beginning to see some of our worst fears for this storm come true. In this special edition of your Wednesday Morning WeatherOptics Briefing, we’ll be going over all-things Florence as we try to nail down the exact impacts before they happen. We’re beginning to get an idea of just how large and powerful Florence is this morning when compared to the southeast coastline of the United States. The first outer band of Florence located hundreds of miles northwest of the storms center, has nearly reached the outer banks of North Carolina. This is a testament…

As we move into the final days before Hurricane Florence wreaks havoc on the Carolinas and surrounding states, we’re beginning to get a much clearer image of what the final result and impact will be. Surprise. It’s not very good. Overnight and during the first half of today Florence went through an eye-wall replacement cycle, which allowed for a smaller eye to become enlarged and expand the storm out several hundreds miles. This means that upon impact Florence will cause destruction to a very large area, ranging between Charleston SC to Wilmington NC. The other aspect to this hurricane that has become more obvious over the last 24 hours is the inevitable stalling that will take place. Rather than making landfall and dying out like most hurricanes do (this generally keeps the damage to a confined area), Florence will likely slow down significantly both upon landfall and post landfall. There…