This enhanced satellite image made available by NOAA shows Hurricane Florence off the eastern coast of the United States on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 at 5:52 p.m. EDT. "This large-scale feature is expected to keep the hurricane moving northwestward today, followed by a turn toward the west at a much slower speed on Friday as the ridge to the north of Florence weakens due to a weak shortwave trough dropping slowly southward from the Ohio Valley", said the NHC in its 11 a.m. forecast discussion.
But forecasters warned that the widening storm - and the likelihood of it lingering around the coast for days - would bring seawater surging on to land and torrential downpours. "But looking back at the forecast tracks for Hurricane Florence from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) and the ensemble members of the leading global forecast models a couple of days ago, what stood out was how relatively straightforward they were", RMS said.
If the European model is true or the overall trend persists, University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said it "is exceptionally bad news, as it smears a landfall out over hundreds of miles of coastline, most notably the storm surge".
As of 11am local time, Florence was centred about 145 miles south east of Wilmington and its forward movement slowed to 10mph.More news: European Union lawmakers vote to take measures against Hungary
And because Hurricane Florence has the potential to stall, it could inflict a lot more damage and cause more severe flooding in North Carolina than Floyd did 19 years ago. Officials say people refusing to evacuate could end up alone, drenched and in the dark, as rescue crews won't go out to help in winds above 50 miles per hour (80 kph). Stay on guard. This is a powerful storm that can kill.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told a news conference, that a "historic storm" would unleash rains and floods that would inundate nearly the entire state. Tropical storm force winds extend up to 200 miles (320 kilometers) from the center.
Schools and businesses closed as far south as Georgia, airlines canceled more than 1,500 flights, and coastal towns in the Carolinas were largely emptied out.More news: Full alert as massive super-storm nears Philippines
Scientists said it is too soon to say what role, if any, global warming played in the storm.
"Just because you're not on the coast doesn't mean you won't get some big impact", Graham said.
Anxious about how the government will respond to Hurricane Florence's devastation? The power company has warned that up to 3 million people could be left without power for an extended period of time following Hurricane Florence. That's comparable to Hurricane Harvey, which according to some weather stations, dropped more than four feet of rain on areas of southeastern Texas.
The police chief of a barrier island in the bull's-eye of Hurricane Florence is warning any stragglers who refused to evacuate that they are making a risky choice.More news: Seattle Storm sweeps Washington Mystics
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