Local Update:

We hope you are having a pleasant Monday evening despite the humidity, courtesy of the cold front that is in northwest Georgia. The front is expected to stall out over the state and then dissipate. This front will trigger some showers and thunderstorms through tonight and tomorrow.

Tropical Update:

Hurricane Florence is currently a category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds. It is currently on track to landfall somewhere in South or North Carolina on Thursday. If you have family or friends in those states, they need to be ready to take action as directed by local authorities. Evacuations have already been announced along the coasts in both Carolinas.

The latest satellite imagery of Florence is very impressive and bears little resemblance to when it was a tropical storm just 36 hours ago. The National Hurricane Center currently has Florence making landfall as a category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 mph, and it could potentially be stronger. The main uncertainty in the forecast track is a developing area of high pressure to the storm’s north. This high pressure will steer Florence around its southern flank. The Euro is currently putting the high pressure a little closer to shore, resulting in a slightly more southerly landfall, while the GFS is putting the ridge further out at sea which is allowing Florence to turn more to the north near landfall. Finally, there is some additional uncertainty in the exact strength of Florence near landfall, as wind shear may increase slightly by that point.

In both the GFS and Euro models, the high pressure that will be steering Florence traps the storm without an escape route at about the time that it makes landfall. This would cause Florence to remain over the mid-Atlantic and drop over 12 inches of rain inland–and possibly much more. That amount of rain will cause freshwater flooding. Often, the right side of a hurricane has the most precipitation due to the winds pulling moisture ashore. This would mean that areas to the north of landfall, such as Virginia, could also receive a lot of rain. If Florence moves far enough inland for its moisture to ascend the Appalachians, even more serious flooding and landslides in the mountains.

In both the GFS and Euro models, the high pressure that will be steering Florence dissipates about the time that it makes landfall. This would cause Florence to dramatically decrease its forward motion over the mid-Atlantic resulting in 12+ inches of rain inland–and possibly much more. That amount of rain will cause freshwater flooding. Often, the right side of a hurricane has the most precipitation due to the winds pulling moisture ashore. This would means that areas to the north of landfall, such as Virginia, could also receive a lot of rain. If Florence moves far enough inland for its moisture to ascend the Appalachians, even more serious flooding and landslides in the mountains are a major threat.

Hurricane Florence, NHC Valid 11pm AST

If things go as the National Hurricane Center has currently forecast, Athens will not see any major effects, and could in fact see lower than usual chances of precipitation. This is due to sinking air that exists around the edges of the storm system, as well as the drier air that exists on the left side of the hurricane. This is subject to change if the hurricane changes course and landfalls further south than expected or makes a left turn after landfall. People in our forecast area should keep a watchful eye and be prepared, but, to repeat: major effects in Athens are not expected at this time.

Stay tuned for additional updates from AthensGAWeather.com and don’t forget to share below to alert your friends and family to this developing weather situation.

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