How Accurate Were The Forecasts For Hurricane Florence?

September 13, 2018 0 Comments

Hurricane Florence is set to make landfall early Friday morning in southeastern North Carolina. There has been lots of buzz with this storm, and rightfully so, as it has a potential to be a record breaker for the Carolinas both in terms of weather and damage.

While no forecast is ever perfect and there have been some tweaks and changes along the way, overall I think the National Hurricane Center did a great job with this forecast.

Take a look at this 5 day forecast. This was the first one within range of predicting a landfall, and it is about as perfect as it gets in terms of location. While I’m saying this presumptuously because as of writing this Florence was still hours away from making landfall, it is pretty much exactly in the spot the NHC said it would be. In addition to the location, the timing was very accurate as well.

Remember that the cone represents the area where the center of the storm could be. This is why the cone is wider at the end than at the beginning. However, the center line where the storm was forecast to be is almost spot on.

The one flaw in this forecast was the strength of the hurricane. It was forecast to be a major hurricane (category 3 or higher) as it approached North Carolina, but it was mainly a Category 2 during its approach.

However, as I have said on-air many times over the last few days. This storm is not just about winds, it’s storm surge will be significant, and rainfall totals may add up to over 2-3 feet in spots as Florence stalls out over the next few days. While it may not technically make landfall as a major hurricane, it will impact the area like one.

For a full look at the National Hurricane Center’s advisories on Florence, click here. These date back to August 30 before the storm was a tropical depression.


-Chief Meteorologist Brian Walder

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