This process - hurricanes intensifying fast - is both extremely risky and poorly understood.
The Post and Courier: "Charleston area should prepare for at least some flooding from Hurricane Florence" - "While predictions show Hurricane Florence heading for North Carolina, the amount of rainfall it could send Charleston's way carries a potential for flooding". All of those, however, made landfall south of where Florence is predicted to hit, and Florence's wind speeds are predicted to be higher than those four storms. "When you stall a system like this and it moves real slow, some of that rainfall can extend well away from the center". Batia completed the work while a graduate researcher at Princeton University and the nearby NOAA laboratory. "We got A Pluses for our recent hurricane work in Texas and Florida (and did an unappreciated great job in Puerto Rico, even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan)". Before it pummels the United States coastline, Florence could become close to a Category 5 storm - meaning winds could approach 157 miles per hour. Emanuel was not directly involved in the work. Ensemble forecasts capture the uncertainty in a forecast by initializing a computer model with slightly different starting conditions.
"Ever stared down the gaping eye of a category 4 hurricane?"
Axios: "The ties between Hurricane Florence and climate change" - "Hurricane Florence is a unique Atlantic hurricane, projected to stall out after hitting land and forecast to dump upwards of 2 feet of rain on several states, much like Hurricane Harvey did in Texas past year".
The NHC warned on Tuesday that the storm may strengthen to Category 5, with wind speeds in excess of 157 miles per hour (253 km/h), as it moves over a band of warmer water off of North Carolina's coast. This, say experts, will broaden the storm's wind field.
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Perhaps most significantly, the new research finds that rapid intensification appears to be the key mechanism driving stronger storms in a warmer climate.
To understand why rapid intensification matters, consider the globe's current population of tropical cyclones (which are variously termed hurricanes, typhoons and just cyclones, depending on the region).
The storm's first effects were already apparent on barrier islands as risky rip currents hit beaches and seawater flowed over a state highway. "This rainfall would produce catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding", forecasters said Wednesday. Now, the new research has suggested that this will indeed be the case. "FEMA and first responders are out there, they're going to stand through the danger of the storm", he said to camera.
A timetable of tropical storm-force winds arriving across the southeast.
"This one really scares me", National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham said.