Everything is pointing to an early Fall cool down this year, maybe 8-10 days away…except in Florida. We will still be frolicking in the ocean and working on our tan. But you go ahead America. Cool down all you want. Have a pumpkin spice whatever and think about us on the beach. pic.twitter.com/WShQQgclWA
Ordered in April, the nearly four-month wait is more than quadruple the norm as aluminum prices edge up and supply dwindles with more mills looking toavoid tariffs by buying American, said Andy Kobosko, Jr., owner of Guardian Storm Protection in suburban West Palm Beach.
Kobosko, whose company filled the Frenchman’s Creek order, said he’s recently reduced delays to four to six weeks by buying in bulk with his Fort Lauderdale-based distributor. A normal wait time for shutters before the tariffs was two to three weeks, Kobosko said.
“Things are starting to catch up, but it’s been a stressful three months,” he said.
The tropics are nothing if not tenacious this September, with a tropical wave trying to become the next named storm under a plume of dry Saharan air.
National Hurricane Center forecasters are giving the area of disturbed weather only a 20 percent of tropical development over the next five days, with nearly no chance of development in the next 48 hours.
But by September, SAL outbreaks overspread the Caribbean only 10 to 15 percent of the time.
“It’s just that they’re a bit smaller than their June to August cousins and they especially don’t tend to reach as far west,” Dunion said.
Forecasters said Monday that tropical development was unlikely over the next 10 days.
While hurricane season lasts through Nov. 30, the tropical waves that produce Cape Verde storms tend to diminish by late September, said Bob Henson, a meteorologist for Weather Underground, part of IBM.
“We’ve come past the normal peak and it was an especially sharp peak this year because everything kind of aligned,” Henson said. “It was just a constellation of ingredients that came together and if the formula changes just a little bit, the numbers can drop pretty sharply.”
This year, three hurricanes — Florence, Helene and Isaac — and two tropical storms — Gordon and Joyce — formed between Sept. 1 and Sept. 12.
Weather reporters covering Hurricane Florence no doubt dealt with hammering wind, driving rain, and charging storm surge.
But some people are criticizing what they feel are overly-dramatic reports from the storm.
In one clip, seasoned Weather Channel reporter Mike Seidel is bracing against Florence’s wind in Wilmington, N.C. when two people seemingly stride by behind him with little trouble in the gale.
The Weather Channel defended the experienced meteorologist.
“It’s important to note that the two individuals in the background are walking on concrete and Mike Seidel is trying to maintain his footing on wet grass, after reporting on-air until 1 a.m. this morning and is undoubtedly exhausted,” it said in a statement.
I find it sick and disturbing to use a natural disaster to boost ratings! I use to have mad respect for the weather channel but knowing what I know now going through it, I am truly disgusted by these actions. https://t.co/6tQj1YS0K3
The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang called out Hurricane Florence reporters in general who it thought were “manufacturing” action, “leaning into 30 mph winds like they are battling a Category 5.”
Deputy Weather Editor Angela Fritz said the drama is “driving me up the wall.”
“Really? There is no need for this,” she wrote in a column. “The wind is not the story here, and everyone knows it because they watched Florence drop in strength before it made landfall.”
Plus, Fritz said, if you are going to lean into the winds of a raging storm (turn your sound down) “do it right.”
In other social media posts, meteorologists were criticized for standing outside in the weather, while admonishing viewers not to do the same.
Ginger Zee, chief meteorologist at ABC News, responded saying she always puts safety first.
Florida Climatologist David Zierden also chimed in, asking if being outside during a storm is any less safe than a football game.
I am a degreed meteorologist and weather nerd. I go outside to watch thunderstorms, outside and windows instead of a safe room for severe weather. I want to see the weather as it happens as a viewer. Is this any less safe than an NFL football game? @Ginger_Zeehttps://t.co/8XA4dsvebT
Hurricane season runs June 1 through Nov. 30 and has so far challenged forecasts calling for a below normal season.
Through today, there have been 10 named storms, 53.5 named storm days, five hurricanes, 16 hurricane days and an accumulated cyclone energy, or ACE, of 81.4. ACE is a way to measure the strength and duration of storms.
But AccuWeather forecasters aren’t giving up on Isaac making a comeback in the Gulf of Mexico later this week.
“AccuWeather meteorologists are not suggesting that Isaac will turn into another Harvey, which fell apart entering the western Caribbean then rapidly regained strength while moving across the Gulf of Mexico,” forecasters wrote,
The key, according to AccuWeather hurricane expert Dan Kottlowski, will be in how much wind shear Isaac encounters and whether it can avoid interaction with the Yucatan Peninsula.
South Florida didn’t see any direct impacts from Hurricane Florence, but sinking air and southwest winds on the periphery of the storm hiked temperatures to above normal over the weekend.
The daytime high Saturday and Sunday was 91 degrees at Palm Beach International Airport. That’s 3 degrees above normal for this time of year.
A lack of cooling afternoon storms kept it warm into the evening on both days. As warm as it was, it couldn’t top the record high of 94 degrees for Sept. 15 set in 1950, and 95 degrees for Sept. 16 set in 1990.
This morning’s unofficial low temperature of 79 is 4 degrees above normal, but 1 degree below the record warm low of 81 set in 1906.
Today could be much of the same, said Chris Fisher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Miami.
“We’re not expecting too much rain so the heat index will be 100 to 105,” Fisher said. “We may see some showers but not as much as you would see on a typical summer day.”
Florence, now a tropical depression, is forecast to move northward today into the Ohio Valley and then northeast across the northeastern portion of the U.S. tomorrow.
That change will give the high pressure that has been over South Florida for the past couple of days a chance to move north into Central and North Florida, shifting south Florida’s winds to a more easterly flow off the water.
While it may be mid-September, Fisher said noticeably cooler temperatures are several weeks away.
“You really don’t start feeling the difference until early to mid-October,” he said. “Technically, the dry season is still a month away.”
Storm surge as high as 7 feet was recorded at Emerald Isle, N.C. as the Category 1 hurricane moves west.
Wilmington, N.C. is experiencing the highest winds its seen since 1960 when Hurricane Donna struck. Gusts at the Wilmington International Airport this morning have been measured as high as 105 mph.
Although Florence dropped to a Category 1, its wind field expanded with hurricane force-winds now reaching 80 miles from the center and tropical storm-force winds stretching out 195 miles.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington said rainfall amounts of 25 to 35 inches over the next few days could set records for single storm rainfall accumulation.
In Wilmington, where rainfall records date back to 1871, these are the five largest storm total rainfall events on record:
22.54 inches in Sept. 2010
19.06 inches in Sept. 1999 (Hurricane Floyd)
13.99 inches in Oct. 2015
13.85 inches in Sept. 1984 (Hurricane Diana)
13.80 inches in Oct. 2005
Hurricane Florence has now been a named storm for 13 days, equaling the length of time that Hurricane Irma was a named storm in 2017, according to Colorado State University storm researcher Phil Klotzbach.
This hurricane season has surpassed the average for the number of named storms, storm days, hurricane days and Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or ACE.
With the formation of Joyce this week, there have been 10 named storms with 5 hurricanes and 1 major hurricane. There have been 47.5 named storm days, 15.5 hurricane days and 75.4 of ACE.
The normal season at this point has 7 named storms, 3.4 hurricanes and 1.5 major hurricanes. Also, normal years have 32 named storm days at this point, with 56.3 of ACE.
UPDATE 5 p.m.: Hurricane Florence’s forward speed has slowed to 5 mph as it approaches the Carolinas as a Category 2 hurricane with 105 mph winds.
The National Hurricane Center warns that water levels are rising along portions of the North Carolina coast.
The storm is about 105 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, N.C.
A NOAA observing site at Cape Lookout, N.C. reported a sustained wind of 68 mph and a gust to 85 mph this afternoon. A private weather station in Davis, N.C. reported a sustained wind of 61 mph and gust to 67 mph.
PREVIOUS STORY: Hurricane Florence, now a Category 2 storm with 110 mph winds, is forecast to reach the coastline of the Carolinas early Friday morning with little strengthening expected before landfall.
The track of the storm is finally showing a strong hook to the northeast but not until late Sunday into Monday as steering winds collapse. That means means Florence could sit over areas for 24 hours dumping up to 20 inches of rain in coastal North Carolina.
As of the 8 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Florence was 170 miles east-southeast of Wilmington, N.C.
“Florence dominates the waters with dangerous life-threatening marine conditions this period, as it nearly stalls near Cape Fear, and drifts slowly toward the soutwest along the southeast North Carolina coasts,” wrote National Weather Service meteorologists in Wilmington, N.C. about the forecast Friday and Saturday. “Unless the weakening is rapid, hurricane force-winds can be expected all of Friday.”
Hurricane center forecasters warn that as Florence’s wind speeds weaken, the storm size increases. This morning, hurricane force-winds now extend up to 80 miles from the center of the storm with tropical storm-force winds out 195 miles.
Life threatening storm surge and “catastrophic” flash flooding is possible with this storm, the NHC wrote in a Tweet this morning.
There are now four named storms in the Atlantic basin with subtropical storm Joyce named Wednesday, and two areas of disturbed weather with chances of development.
Klotzbach said since records began, there has never been five named storms in the Atlantic with wind speeds of 39 mph or higher (tropical storm force).
Joyce is no threat to land. It is expected to take a similar track as Hurricane Helene to the northeast.
The hurricane center is also tracking Isaac, which remains a tropical storm about 100 miles east of Dominica. The storm is weakening and could become a depression in a few days, but some models have it restrengthening in the western Caribbean, according to the NHC.
“However, the predictability of such an event is too low to explicitly show in the forecast at this point,” the NHC wrote in its 5 a.m. advisory.
Previous story: As the outer rainbands of Hurricane Florence swipe up against the coast of North Carolina, forecasters are warning of possible life-threatening storm surges and flooding.
If the storm, now a Category 2, arrives during high tide, the water could rise up to 13 feet along parts of the North Carolina coast. That area also could be hit with up to 40 inches of rain, according to the National Hurricane Center.
As with 2017’s Hurricane Irma, and likely previous storms that were unwittingly born post Internet, Hurricane Florence is generating some satirical memes and Facebook pages that some people may be falling for.
The Washington Post reports that the perennial Sharknado-motivated Tweets about Florence picking up sharks and flinging them toward shore is making the rounds. It even attributes the news to NOAA Hurricane Hunters.
But that’s still a Category 3 major hurricane heading toward the Carolinas at 16 mph.
There have been no changes to watches and warnings as of the 5 p.m. advisory.
National Hurricane Center forecasters cautioned against paying too much attention to a drop in wind speeds as the storm has expanded in size “resulting in an increase in the cyclone’s total energy, which will create a significant storm surge event.”
Storm surge greater than 9-feet is possible up the Neuse and Pamlico rivers.
Hurricane force-winds extend 70 miles from the center of the storm, while tropical storm-force winds now reach out 195 miles.
While forecasters said Florence still has a window of about 24 hours for strengthening, they do not expect any significant increases in intensity.
The official forecast now puts Florence as a 115-mph, Category 3 hurricane as it nears the coast Friday and Saturday.
UPDATE 2 p.m.: Hurricane Florence dipped to a 125-mph, Category 3 storm this afternoon, but the wind field has increased.
NHC forecasters caution that Florence could undergo fluctuations in speed, and is still expected to reach the coast as a powerful hurricane Friday or Saturday.
As of 2 p.m., Florence was 435 miles southeast of Wilmington, N.C. moving northwest at 16 mph.
Experts aren’t ruling out another burst of energy before Florence reaches the coast, but the official forecast now calls for a 100-mph Category 2 hurricane near landfall.
“A jump in strength to a Category 5 hurricane is possible Wednesday night to Thursday, before some weakening may take place prior to landfall to end the week,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
Depending on where Florence stalls, or if it stalls, the rain could reach record amounts. The NHC said 20 to 40 inches could be possible in some coastal areas.
“Conditions will go downhill in a hurry Thursday night as the center of Florence approaches the coast,” National Weather Service meteorologists in Wilmington, N.C. wrote in their Wednesday forecast. “The very dry antecedent conditions we’ve had over the past six weeks won’t buy us much reprieve from flooding given the exceptional rainfall amounts expected along the coast north of Myrtle Beach.”
Here’s a map with record rainfall by state.
A state of emergency has been declared in four states — South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland, as well as Washington, D.C. — to help people prepare for the hurricane.
“There’s never been a storm like Florence. It was located farther north in the Atlantic than any other storm to ever hit the Carolinas, so what we’re forecasting is unprecedented,” AccuWeather Vice President of Forecasting and Graphics Operations Marshall Moss said.
Florence isn’t the only area the National Hurricane Center is watching.
A tropical depression could form in the southwest Gulf of Mexico tomorrow, while a strong area of low pressure 600 miles west-southwest of the Azores appears to be rapidly strengthening into a subtropical or tropical storm, according to the NHC.
The next names on the 2018 list are Joyce and Kirk.
If Joyce and Kirk form up while the other three storms are still spinning, it would be the first time on record the Atlantic had five named storms simultaneously, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.
It soon appears there will be a 4th system in the #NATL basin. Recently designated Invest #96L has quickly improved in organization on #GOES16 visible today w/ moderate convection pulsing near the center.
Life-threatening, catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding is likely over the Carolinas and the southern and central Appalachians late this week into early next week, as #Florence is expected to slow down as it approaches the coast and move inland. pic.twitter.com/EdlloHH1rG
Previous story: Hurricane Florence, a dangerous major hurricane, has shifted its track near landfall to the south with a deeper reach into South Carolina and Georgia.
The National Hurricane Center has issued hurricane and storm surge warnings from the South Santee River in South Carolina to Duck, N.C. But it has discontinued a hurricane watch for the area north of Duck to the Virginia border, changing that to a tropical storm warning.
This change follows the new track guidance which was made as an area of high pressure forms over the east-central U.S., which will block Florence from moving north.
“The message is clear, take this seriously, it is a life threatening situation,” said Ken Graham, director of the National Hurricane Center. “We are all talking about the speed slowing down, this system is not moving very fast and the longer it stays the more it could push the rainfall totals.”
As of 8 a.m., Florence was 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, N.C. with 130 mph winds. It is moving west-northwest at 17 mph.
Florence is still predicted to increase in intensity to 145 mph over the next day, but a shot of wind shear and the storm pulling cooler water to the surface as it meanders, could reduce wind speeds to 120 mph as it nears the coast.
That’s still a major Category 3 hurricane with “life threatening storm surge and catastrophic flash flooding.”
The Weather Prediction Center is forecasting up to 20 inches of rain along the North Carolina coast through Wednesday.
Florence’s hurricane force-winds extend outward up to 70 miles from its center, with tropical storm-force winds extending outward up to 175 miles.
Storm surge, which is responsible for about 49 percent of deaths directly attributable to Atlantic tropical cyclones, may be higher than 9 feet above ground in portions of North Carolina.
Given the rarity of the magnitude of #Florence's storm surge forecast, it can be hard to grasp what that might look like or the impacts it could have on your community. We ask that you heed evacuation orders for your area if issued by local authorities. Time is running short! pic.twitter.com/Tg6wQnJMvK