Thursday Night Update: Florence slamming Carolina coast, Ga. impacts still expected

Hurricane Florence is battering the North Carolina coast with damaging wind gusts, torrential rain and flooding storm surge.

2 A.M. FRIDAY UPDATE: New data from the European model is coming in less intense for Middle Georgia than in recent days.

The Thursday night model run has shifted the remnants of Florence north, taking the more aggressive impacts with it. We now have to see if this new trend holds consistent in future runs or was a one-time change. The next run of the European model will be complete around 2 p.m. Friday.

Based on the new information, wind gusts would range from 20-30 mph Sunday while rain totals would range from 1/2" to 1". Areas northeast of Macon are most likely to see impacts.

Meteorologist Daniel McFarland will have new information starting at 5 a.m. on ABC16.


THURSDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Hurricane Florence continues to batter the North Carolina coast with wind, rain, storm surge and tornado warnings.

Early indications are New Bern, North Carolina has been hit hard. WGXA News sister-station WCTI was forced to evacuate.

At one point Thursday evening, a buoy off the coast of North Carolina reported a wind gust of 112 mph.

Based on new data and the forecast from the National Hurricane Center, impacts from Florence in Middle Georgia still can't be ruled out. If impacts verify, it would be Sunday. We expect breezy conditions, with wind gusts up to 40 mph possible, along with tropical downpours that could put down a lot of rain in a short amount of time. Changes remain possible in these expectations as new data comes in. A Weather Warn Day remains in effect for Sunday for Middle Georgia due to the expected impacts.

Stay tuned to WGXA News on-air and online for updates.

Thursday afternoon update is below.


MACON, Ga. - Tune in with chief meteorologist Jeff Cox for a Thursday evening forecast on Hurricane Florence:

Hurricane Florence is battering the North Carolina coast with damaging wind gusts, torrential rain and flooding storm surge.

Florence's strongest winds are down from Wednesday, but the size of the wind field has increased, meaning more people will experience the storm's damaging wind gusts.

The forecast for Florence has a high confidence level through Friday. Beyond then, our confidence level in regards to impacts in Middle Georgia is much lower. Two possible tracks for the remnants of Florence continue to show in long-range forecast information. The first solution favors a track through South Carolina and into North Carolina. That solution would result in very minimal impacts in Middle Georgia. The second solution features a track through southern South Carolina and into Georgia. If that verifies, we would expect more aggressive impacts in Middle Georgia. Until there becomes more consensus among those different forecast models, we won't have a high confidence forecast.

It's worth mentioning that most of Middle Georgia is not in the cone from the National Hurricane Center. The cone represents the margin of error for the center of Florence to pass through. Impacts can still happen in Middle Georgia even without us being in the cone.

Based on data analysed Thursday, we still expect breezy conditions Sunday along with tropical downpours. Those impacts are most likely northeast of Macon. Changes in the expected impacts are likely and could be for the better or worse.

Due to the expected impacts Sunday, WGXA News continues to issue a Weather Warn Day for Middle Georgia. This is a new initiative from WGXA News that will serve to raise awareness to potentially dangerous and impactful weather headed for the area.

WGXA News will offer special coverage Sunday on both FOX24 and ABC16. Coverage on FOX24 starts at 8 a.m. and will continue at 4:30 p.m. right after the Falcons game. Coverage on ABC16 begins at Noon and will continue in the afternoon. You can also download the WGXA Weather app and visit the Hurricane Center on the WGXA Weather section of our website.

Stay tuned to WGXA News on-air and online for continued updates on Hurricane Florence.

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