All Weather News

FINAL REPORT: NHC Details Hurricane Florence

5 May 2019, 3:52 am

The National Hurricane Center has issued its complete evaluation of Hurricane Florence in their final Tropical Cyclone Report of 2018’s Atlantic Season. Florence peaked at category 4 strength, before making landfall in North Carolina as a category 1 hurricane. However, Florence’s true power was evident in the freshwater flooding and storm surge impacts across the southeast. This single storm was responsible for 22 direct deaths and 24 billion dollars in damage.

NHC tracked Florence from its beginnings as a tropical wave off of the African coast. The cyclone systematically charged across the Atlantic into early September 2018. Florence went through several cycles of rapid intensification and weakening. Despite reaching peak intensity 725 n mi east-southeast of Cape Fear, NC, cooler sea surface temperatures caused by upwelling allowed it to weaken as it approached land. Florence made landfall as a 80-kt hurricane near Wrightsville Beach, NC on September 14, 2018. The slow forward speed kept heavy rain training over the same areas of the southeastern US. Flooding continued for days after landfall.

Top Stats:

Wind Speed:  150  mph

Minimum Central Pressure: 937 millibars

Maximum Storm Surge Inundation Heights: 8 to  11 ft above ground level

Tornadoes: 44 across 3 states

Deaths: 22 direct (15 in NC, 4 in SC,  3 in VA), 30 indirect


Impacts outlined in an excerpt form the report:

“The NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) estimates that wind
and water damage caused by Florence totaled approximately $24 billion. This makes Florence
the ninth-most-destructive hurricane to affect the United States. Approximately 1.1 million
customers lost power due to Florence’s effects, with 1 million customers having lost power in
North Carolina and 100,000 customers experiencing power loss in South Carolina.”