(FOX Carolina) - Florence continues at Cat 4 strength with winds at 140 mph. The current storm track is expected to move inland through North Carolina and potentially bring some heavy rain for parts of our area on Sunday into Monday. The western North Carolina mountains would be most vulnerable to flooding with this system.
A hurricane warning is in effect for Edisto Beach, SC northward to the NC/VA border. A storm surge warning is also in effect for these same areas.
Computer models are in decent agreement that Florence will make a landfall somewhere on the lower coast of North Carolina, but after that is highly uncertain. Some models push the storm west, bringing us some rain and gusty winds by Sunday. Other models take it northwest and would bring us minimal impacts in the western Carolinas. The most recent development is a potential path back out to see and south, where it could make a second landfall in South Carolina. This would bring us heavier rain and potential severe weather. We hope to know much more with the model runs throughout the day.
Additionally in the tropics, Helene and Isaac continue in the east-central Atlantic. Helene is likely to remain a "fish storm", bothering no major land. Isaac is forecast to impact the Lesser Antilles islands later in the week as it moves toward the eastern Caribbean. Lastly, an area of disturbed weather in the western Caribbean could drift into the Gulf of Mexico and become "Joyce" over the weekend.
Locally today, the best chance of scattered rain and storms will be in the mountains as the Upstate sees a lower rain chance. The local rain chance thins out a bit for Thursday as more sunshine and drier air temporarily moves into the area.
Friday and the weekend's weather heavily depends on what Florence does once making landfall. The computer models are in vast disagreement as to what will happen to the storm once Florence makes landfall early Friday. Some continue to stall the storm along the NC/SC coast through early this weekend, which would mean multiple FEET of rain for the coast/areas a few miles farther inland. Other models move it very slowly inland to the west on varying tracks. Basically, the farther west the center of what's left of Florence goes, the more rain that will fall between Saturday and next Monday in the western Carolinas. The highest threat to watch out for locally would be localized flooding, with a much lower threat of widespread damaging wind.