Hurricane Florence Drenches North Carolina

The 2018 North Atlantic Hurricane Season took a devastating turn last week as Hurricane Florence crashed ashore near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina early last Friday morning.  With it came extremely heavy rainfall totals, including a report of 36” in Elizabethtown, North Carolina.  The floodwaters from the extremely heavy rainfall cut off the city of Wilmington, NC, which remains isolated as of Tuesday morning.  Tragically, 32 people are confirmed to have died due to the storm as of this writing.

 Source:  Fox News

Source: Fox News

While Florence has since departed North Carolina, its remnants are bringing heavy rain to the northeastern United States.  Flood warnings have been issued for places such as Upstate New York and southern portions of Vermont and New Hampshire, where multiple inches of rain have already fallen.

Topical Storm Gordon to Make Landfall on Gulf Coast

Until last week, the 2018 North Atlantic Hurricane Season was noted for its inactivity, especially regarding storms impacting land.  Now, two tropical systems, Florence and Gordon, are churning in the Atlantic basin, one of which, Gordon, is impacting the United States.

As of early Tuesday evening, Tropical Storm Gordon sits in the Gulf of Mexico a mere 95 miles southeast of Biloxi, Mississippi.  This system boasted maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and was moving northwest at 15 mph.  Gordon may briefly reach hurricane status before it makes its expected landfall later Tuesday evening local time.

 Source: CNN

Source: CNN

According to the National Hurricane Center, storm surge of 3 feet to 5 feet is possible between the mouth of the Pearl River in Louisiana and Dauphin Island, Alabama.  As such, a storm surge warning was issued for this area, while hurricane warnings extend eastward to the Alabama/Florida border.  Rainfall of 4 to 8 inches, with localized 12 inch amounts are expected both near the coast and inland in the Gulf States.

Hot Weather Takes Toll on U.S. Open

A late-season has gripped much of the northeastern United States this week, with temperatures easily surpassing 90 degrees and dew point temperatures in excess of 70 degrees in many locations.  This latest round of sultry weather arrived in time to affect the U.S. Open tennis match in New York City.  High temperatures at nearby LaGuardia Airport reached 98 degrees on Tuesday and 97 degrees on Wednesday, with heat index values above 100 degrees. 

 

The heat was intense enough that officials allowed male tennis players to take a 10-minute break between the third and fourth sets.  Typically, only women are allowed to take such a break between the second and third sets.  Even that was not enough for some, as four players had to quit in the middle of their matches due to the heat.


 

 Source: ABC

Source: ABC

Relief from the heat is expected for New York City on Friday and Saturday, as high temperatures are expected to remain in the 70s both days.  It will be short-lived, however, as 90-degree temperatures are once again possible by early next week.

Hurricane Lane Bearing Down on Hawai'i

A hurricane impacting Hawai’i is a rare sight, and a major hurricane passing near Hawai’i is rarer still.  But that is exactly what Hurricane Lane is threatening to do.  Earlier this week, Lane reached Category 5 status, only the sixth hurricane to ever do so in the Central Pacific basin.  Lane has since weakened somewhat.  As of Wednesday evening, the storm was a category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph and was located 260 miles south of Kailua-Kona, Hawai’i. 

Fortunately, Lane is expected to continue to weaken and will likely fall below major hurricane status when it makes it closest approach to Hawai’i on Friday.  However, hurricane warnings are in effect for Oahu, Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, and the Big Island, while hurricane watches are in effect for Kauai and Niihau, meaning winds of over 74 mph are expected in these locations.  Torrential rainfall is also expected, with amounts up to 20 inches possible in the mountainous terrain according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.  These totals will make mudslides a major concern.
 

 Source:  Central Pacific Hurricane Center

Source:  Central Pacific Hurricane Center

While a hurricane approaching Hawai’i is indeed rare, it is not unprecedented.  In 1992, Hurricane Iniki stuck the island of Kauai is a category 4 storm and caused in excess of $3 billion in damage.