2018 Hurricanes – Especially Florence

A lot of information has already been posted in W.O.O.D. here:

But as Florence comes ashore, and Hawaii is under threat of their second is about as many months, and there’s more on deck, I thought maybe a dedicated thread would work out better in the next weeks or two.

To that end, here’s a place to track and discuss the storms as they begin the damage phase of their activity (and whatever storms come next…)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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25 Responses to 2018 Hurricanes – Especially Florence

  1. philjourdan says:

    I should have prognosticated days ago that Florence would not remain a major. The problem is that there is not enough water to keep her sustained. The continental shelf extends a long way out from NC. Had it come up like Hugo, it would have had the water to sustain it until it hit land. But the slow down combined with the lack of water was going to kill it before it came ashore. A 2 is still not good. But it beats a 4 in hurricanes (just not in poker – unless they are wild).

  2. H.R. says:

    We’re on the Great Lakes side of the Appalachians and I expected to get some rain from the remnants of Florence. It seems we always get some from every tropical storm or hurricane. The amount varies, depending on the storm and its path, from 3-4 inches up to about 10 inches from hurricane Floyd.

    Yesterday, the map showing the predicted storm path had Florence not quite making it to our area and the local forecast wasn’t showing unusual rain either, just fractions of an inch.

    Today, the latest model runs show the remnants of Florence covering not only us but well past us. The local forecast hasn’t reflected that, but I am now expecting 6 +/- inches based on previous experience.

    I think I need a more accurate weather site. I use Intellicast and I used to find it pretty good, but lately I have found it to be lacking. They’re showing essentially nothing from Florence and I would wager a fair number of donuts that we’ll get a day or two of solid rain.

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    I pay about $6.00 a month to weathertap.com for access to their products and they have some very nice resources you can use to basically do your own forecasts.

    I think they still offer a 14 day free trial if you want to check them out.

    Current public advisory for Hurricane Florence

    WTNT31 KNHC 132033

    Hurricane Florence Advisory Number 58
    NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL062018
    500 PM EDT Thu Sep 13 2018


    LOCATION…33.7N 76.2W


    A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued from south of South Santee
    River to Edisto Beach, South Carolina.


    A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
    * South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
    * Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, including the Neuse and Pamlico

    A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
    * Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina
    * North of Duck North Carolina to the North Carolina/Virginia border

    A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
    * South Santee River South Carolina to Duck North Carolina
    * Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

    A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
    * Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

    A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
    * North of Duck North Carolina to Cape Charles Light Virginia
    * Chesapeake Bay south of New Point Comfort
    * Edisto Beach South Carolina to South Santee River South Carolina

    Interests elsewhere in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic states
    should monitor the progress of Florence.

    A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening
    inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline. For
    a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather
    Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at

    A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life-
    threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the

    A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected
    somewhere within the warning area, in this case within the next 12
    to 24 hours.

    A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible
    within the watch area.

    A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are
    expected somewhere within the warning area.

    For storm information specific to your area, including possible
    inland watches and warnings, please monitor products issued by your
    local National Weather Service forecast office.

    At 500 PM EDT (2100 UTC), data from NOAA Doppler weather radars
    indicate that the center of the eye of Florence was located near
    latitude 33.7 North, longitude 76.2 West. Florence is moving toward
    the west-northwest near 5 mph (7 km/h), and this general motion is
    forecast to continue into Friday. A slow westward to west-
    southwestward motion is expected Friday night and Saturday. On
    the forecast track, the center of Florence will approach the coasts
    of North and South Carolina later tonight, then move near or over
    the coast of southern North Carolina and northeastern South Carolina
    in the hurricane warning area on Friday. A slow motion across
    portions of eastern and central South Carolina is forecast Friday
    night through Saturday night.

    Doppler radar data indicate that maximum sustained winds have
    decreased to near 100 mph (155 km/h) with higher gusts. Little
    change in strength is expected before the eye of Florence reaches
    the coast, with slow weakening expected after the center moves
    inland or meanders near the coast. More significant weakening is
    forecast on Saturday as Florence moves farther inland over central
    South Carolina.

    Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from
    the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195
    miles (315 km). A NOAA reporting station at Cape Lookout, North
    Carolina, recently reported a sustained wind of 68 mph (109 km/h)
    and a gust to 85 mph (137 km/h).

    The estimated minimum central pressure is 955 mb (28.20 inches).

    STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the
    tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by
    rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water has the
    potential to reach the following heights above ground…

    Cape Fear NC to Cape Lookout NC…7-11 ft, with locally higher
    amounts in the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo, and Bay Rivers
    Cape Lookout NC to Ocracoke Inlet NC…6-9 ft
    South Santee River SC to Cape Fear NC…4-6 ft
    Ocracoke Inlet NC to Salvo NC…4-6 ft
    Salvo NC to North Carolina/Virginia Border…2-4 ft
    Edisto Beach SC to South Santee River SC…2-4 ft

    The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of
    onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and
    destructive waves. Surge-related flooding can vary greatly over
    short distances. For information specific to your area, please see
    products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast

    RAINFALL: Florence is expected to produce heavy and excessive
    rainfall in the following areas…

    Southeastern coastal North Carolina into far northeastern South
    Carolina…20 to 30 inches, isolated 40 inches. This rainfall will
    produce catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river

    Remainder of South Carolina and North Carolina into southwest
    Virginia…6 to 12 inches, isolated 15 inches. This rainfall will
    produce life-threatening flash flooding.

    WIND: Hurricane conditions are expected to reach the coast within
    the hurricane warning area this evening or early Friday. Tropical
    storm conditions are already moving onshore within the warning

    TORNADOES: A few tornadoes are possible in eastern and
    southeastern North Carolina through Friday.

    SURF: Swells generated by Florence are affecting Bermuda, portions
    of the U.S. East Coast, and the northwestern and central Bahamas.
    These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip
    current conditions. Please consult products from your local weather

    Next intermediate advisory at 800 PM EDT.
    Next complete advisory at 1100 PM EDT.

    Forecaster Stewart

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    Windy.com also allows you to pull up lots of interesting info if you play with the options and sliders.
    Current wind plot for Hurricane Florence at 100 meter altitude (to avoid surface drag and show free wind speed near the surface)

  5. llanfar says:

    @philjourdan The record for days since the last cat 3 hit the USis preserved…

  6. H.R. says:

    Thanks for the tip on weathertap, Larry. I’m spoiled by free weather reports, and I just ignore forecasts and look at the radar maps for myself. I might just have a look at the free trial and see if it’s more added value to me than using my skunk eye when I check Intellicast plus radar.

  7. Larry Ledwick says:

    Playing with the windy.com options at 1:30 am EDT I am seeing steady state winds of 70-80 mph with gusts from 110 -124 mph near the beech, wave height out near the north quadrant of the storm are 32-33 ft with swells to 14 ft. Just inland from the coast seeing accumulated rain falls of up to 24 inches already.

  8. Larry Ledwick says:

    Florence’s eye is just off shore of Wilmington at this time, with waves to 24 ft, and swells of 7 ft on the north side of the storm. Predictions are for accumulated rain fall near 19-24 inches just inland north of Wilmington. Storm will continue its near stall moving at walking speed for the next 2 days then turning to the north and running up the coast inland.

    Prolonged rainfall and sustained high winds look to be the major hazard for the next couple days. Highest winds now are 70 mph with gusts to 101 on the north side of the storm near the beech.

  9. E.M.Smith says:

    “north side of the storm near the beech.”

    Wow! That’s pretty specific… but you didn’t say which tree it was…?…


    A beech on the beach is a bitc…

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    Doing a weather up date at 04:30 in the morning my time, is a bitch if you are not on the beach.
    Have some co-workers who work out of an office in Virginia (which was originally thought to be at risk) and another that works from home in North Carolina so have been giving them updates on the storm so they can make plans. :-)

  11. E.M.Smith says:


    I made my plans last week… and left the South East ;-)

    I am soooo glad I’m no longer “on the hook” for emergency response or recovery…

    BTW, my “last real job” at Disney was as a Disaster Recovery Project Manager. Our DR offsite location? In the Carolinas …. Were I still there I know I’d be in a variety of meetings discussing all this and what to do when your DR Site is the one having the disaster… and not getting much sleep…

    All sorts of automated “synchronize systems and data with DR site” stuff would need monitoring, correcting, redirecting to ???? well, somewhere TBD, etc. etc.

    Did I mention I’m really glad it’s not ME up at 4:30 AM dealing with this? ;-)

    (Keep the coffee fresh and the vending machine stocked, it’s gonna be a long night…)

  12. Larry Ledwick says:

    Florence eye is going right over Wilmington NC at this time, Topsail beach area is getting pounded, with waves 13 – 16 ft, and swells 3 – 4 ft. Total rain accumulations near Topsail beach are showing about 21 inches at this time on windy.com

    Given that area of NC is really flat – most of that area on USGS maps show the swamp symbol ( you have to go about a mile to get 10 ft elevation change.as you go inland from the beach.) this is going have lots of wide area flooding as the natural drainage into the ocean is opposite the 60+ mph on shore winds at that time trying to pile the water up on shore plus storm surge and breaking waves.

    Looks like that stretch of NC beach will get pretty well beaten to a pulp before this slow moving storm ambles off at 4-5 mph. These conditions will persist for most of the day.

    On high resolution radar individual storm cells embedded in the storm near wilmington are clipping along at 60 -70 mph but the system is almost stationary.

    Flash Flood Warning – Expires: 09/14 11:15 AM MDT

    WGUS52 KMHX 141155

    Flash Flood Warning
    National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC
    755 AM EDT FRI SEP 14 2018

    The National Weather Service in Newport has extended the

    * Flash Flood Warning for…
    Jones County in eastern North Carolina…
    Onslow County in eastern North Carolina…

    * Until 115 PM EDT.

    * At 753 AM EDT, Doppler radar indicated heavy rain falling from
    rain bands associated with Hurricane Florence across the warned
    area. 4 to 8 inches of rain have fallen. Flash flooding is likely
    already occurring. Additional rainfall amounts of 4 to 8 inches
    are possible in the warned area through the morning.

    * Some locations that will experience flooding include…
    Jacksonville, North Topsail Beach, New River Station, Pumpkin
    Center, Piney Green, Half Moon, Camp Lejeune Center, Swansboro,
    Phillips Crossroads, Hubert, Richlands, Maysville, Catherine Lake,
    Folkstone, Silverdale, Kellum, Midway Park, Verona, Dixon and


    Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads. Most flood
    deaths occur in vehicles.

    Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause flooding of small
    creeks and streams, urban areas, highways, streets and underpasses as
    well as other drainage areas and low lying spots.

    A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or occurring.
    If you are in the warned area move to higher ground immediately.
    Residents living along streams and creeks should take immediate
    precautions to protect life and property.


    LAT…LON 3448 7758 3473 7769 3492 7765 3501 7772
    3507 7760 3516 7751 3522 7752 3524 7750
    3508 7719 3506 7717 3478 7717 3466 7709
    3444 7752

  13. Larry Ledwick says:

    If you are interested in looking at the topographical map of the area, go to:


    Then scroll to -77.5 34.4 (small dark gray display counter for location of cursor in lower left of viewer)

    In the layers option select elevation contours. (13 down from top of menu)
    If you want to locate individual locations, in the layers option also select – geographic names (second from the top)

    The 50 ft elevation contour in that area behind topsail beach lies about 6 – 15 miles inland depending on the exact path used going inland.

  14. Sole Public says:

    I just discovered Wxrisk and really like it. The founder posts on twitter as DTVWeatherman where he announces his weather updates (DT Wxrisk on YouTube). He’s been calling it right for the past 4 days and does a great job of explaining the data.

  15. ossqss says:

    The waether channel guys have done well with their acting classes. Have a look, and keep an eye on the unknown background paricipanta. LOL


  16. philjourdan says:

    I just discovered Wxrisk and really like it. The founder posts on twitter as DTVWeatherman

    Dave Tolerisk. I found him years ago. He is very informative and better than the talking heads weathermen on TV. He is also a raging liberal, but does not get too much into politics, so I can “tolerate” his few screeds.

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    Looks like on twitter he goes by “@DTVaWeatherman” not [ DTVWeatherman ] minor typo.

  18. H.R. says:


    OMG! WAFI!

    P.S. I think the camera operator thinks the guy is an idiot, too. He cut back to show the strollers when he could have kept the shot tight. I believe he did it on purpose.

  19. Stewart Pid says:

    Chiefio …. this is right up your alley. I was wondering how much fun with figures / figures don’t lie but liars figure was going on. As near as I can figure it appears that 40 – 60 % of the Puerto Rico deaths that are reported in the George Washington U report (2,975 vs 64 actual gov’t reported) are the result of using the deaths per 10,000 number and not correcting for the vast number of folks that got out of Dodge post Maria which was about 8% of the population and all of whom can be assumed to be relatively wealthy and healthy. You and some of the other brainiacs can play with this if u are inclined to do so.
    The report https://publichealth.gwu.edu/sites/default/files/downloads/projects/PRstudy/Acertainment%20of%20the%20Estimated%20Excess%20Mortality%20from%20Hurricane%20Maria%20in%20Puerto%20Rico.pdf
    Interesting bits are in the mortality section page 22 of the PDF or page 8 of mortality.

    I wonder what auto deaths did post Maria … endless dig here possibilities with shit like this.
    This line in the report got my spidey sense tingling (why is it always models?) “We developed a series of generalized linear models (GLMs) with monthly data for the pre-hurricane period of July 2010-August 2017”.

  20. cdquarles says:

    @ Stewart, Indeed. I read the report and immediately recalled the ‘medical errors are a leading cause of death’ thing loudly proclaimed a few years back (wonders if anyone will have the guts to do an excess death model for the effects of NoCare … yeah, rhetorical). Those were done in a similar manner. Never mind that there is a code for a doctor caused death. There is a reason why there is a specific definition for these. It has to be a death that occurs during the disaster and demonstrably due to complications within a set period of time afterward. Then there is the ‘ceteris paribus’ aspect to the models and survivor bias.

  21. Steven Fraser says:

    I formerly used nullschool.net’s vizualizations, and have now started using ventusky.com as well.
    Ventusky shows both the ICON and GFS models. Nullschool has displays for SST and anomaly, pariculates, sulfides, CO and CO2.

    The biggest differentiator? Ventusky puts names on the maps.

  22. Steven Fraser says:

    Both free.

  23. E.M.Smith says:


    I went to look up WAFI and got it typed and return hit before it hit me “What A F… Idiot”… and what was the top result of the search:

    Male given name
    Wafy is an Arabic name that means “reliable”, “trustworthy”, or “loyal”. Wikipedia

    Oh Dear… What an unfortunate thing… OTOH, a “loyal” and “reliable” member of the dozen or so groups attempting to destroy western governments and society would be accurate on both counts of WAFI… Sometimes the universe works in mysterious ways…

    @Sterwart Pid:

    Yes, as an Economist I was trained in Statistics and how to spot the lying in them. (Economists must both create the bogus numbers if employed by the Government or back them out if employed by private enterprise – so we are trained to walk both sides of the street… hmmm… I guess that makes use Street Walkers of a Data Whore sort ;-)

    IF any number comes from a Democrat Politician you can be assured it is wrong.
    IF any number comes from a Republican Politician you can be assured it is right (wing biased…).

    If it comes from guy who is boring as hell and talking about things of no interest to anyone, especially things like marginal propensity to invest, it is likely close to accurate…

    @Steven Fraser:

    Thanks for the pointer to a new source! Having lots of cross checks is a good thing!

  24. H.R. says:

    @E.M. – WAFI is an old message board shorthand acronym. I’m pretty sure you knew it at one time and had just forgotten it. It’s no longer a common acronym because politeness and language on the net have deteriorated to the point that it’s mostly just said outright nowadays – skip the acronym – and it’s fairly mild compared to what’s being used in its place.

    What was surprising to me is the recent search results that you got. I wonder what year it was that WAFI as a name took over from WAFI as a derogatory acronym?

    One thing I am sure of is that the date is after 2008.

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