Hurricane Florence may threaten, but don't panic yet and here's why! (credit: Meteorologist Stu Ostro)
DISCUSSION: Over the past couple of days, there has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the development and intensification of Hurricane Florence which remains at major hurricane status as of earlier on Wednesday night (09/05/2018). Having said that, there is a lot of reason to be as well as to not be overly concerned at this point with regard to the future track of Hurricane Florence. First off, let's establish the reasons for why someone living in Bermuda and/or somewhere along the East Coast of the United States will definitely want to continue paying attention to the future intensity and track of this hurricane which is currently spinning over the open waters of the eastern Tropical Atlantic Ocean basin.
For starters, the fact is that this is indeed a major hurricane as of tonight and therefore represents a certainly dangerous natural hazard to anyone in its path as long as it maintains a similar intensity moving forward. In addition, even if it continues to weaken a bit more, this would still be a relatively larger tropical cyclone with plenty of rainfall and more than likely a decent storm surge tied to it as well. Therefore, as with any tropical cyclone, Hurricane Florence should continue to be taken seriously even despite some apparent weakening and structural breakdown being observed with it tonight in the wake of increasing southwesterly vertical wind shear. It is worth noting that the environment both right along and around Hurricane Florence will likely improve a bit within the next 24 to 36 hours as well, so the storm may still have an opportunity to re-gain some of the "steam" it lost during the evening of 09/05/2018.
Now, on the flip-side, here are some reasons for why anyone potentially in the future path of Hurricane Florence should not be worrying too much just yet. As reflected in the content of the spectacular tweet which has been attached above (courtesy of Meteorologist Stu Ostro from The Weather Channel), there are a number of other atmospheric components which may very well end up changing the future track and speed of Hurricane Florence as it continues on its current northwest track. For example, the larger trough which is currently positioned over north-central Canada could quite possibly help to nudge Hurricane Florence further offshore if it ends up reaching the Eastern United States well prior to the closest future approach of Florence to the East Coast of the United States. In addition, the couple of other smaller systems which are identified on this same graphic and noted accordingly, could potentially help to break down the ridge of high pressure which is currently in place over southeast Canada. If that were to happen, then this would make the trough that much more influential in being able to nudge any reasonably close approach of Hurricane Florence much further offshore.
However, at this point in the forecast process, all of these factors are simply VERY far out in the future as of the present time. Therefore, it would simply be foolish and premature to read into any of these possibilities this far out from any possible impacts which would still be at least 7 to 10 days away from now. To conclude in short, as always at the Global Weather and Climate Center, we will continue to keep you updated as this situation evolves so stay tuned for further updates on the future of Hurricane Florence as the storm's future evolves.
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© 2018 Meteorologist Jordan Rabinowitz