WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)

Historic Hurricane Florence's greatest hits

By Jesse Ferrell
9/27/2018, 3:09:29 PM


A total of 22 tornadoes have now been confirmed from Hurricane Florence.


At least 8 tornadoes, 6 in the Richmond area including one of EF-2 strength, have been confirmed by the NWS after Monday's outbreak.

NWS Tornado Surveys Florence Richmond

That means that a total of 16 tornadoes have been documented from Hurricane Florence.

NOAA now has inland flooding aerial imagery, in addition to the coast if you're wondering how your beach house is doing.

Over a quarter of a million people are still without power in North Carolina and the city of Wilmington is still not reachable by land. Much of the infrastructure in southeast North Carolina is underwater.

UPDATE TUESDAY SEP 18th: A number of "final" Hurricane Florence rainfall maps have been released. All are based on radar estimates and rain gauge data. Given that some rain gauges were damaged or without power, and some radars were also offline for parts of the time, and there's no definite start or stop time, neither the maps nor the lists will be completely accurate.

Hurricane Florence Rainfall FINAL ZOOM

Hurricane Florence Rainfall FINAL

Hurricane Florence Final Rainfall Map #4

Florence Final Rainfall Map #1

Hurricane Florence Final Rainfall Map #2

Hurricane Florence Rainfall Final

Hurricane Florence 72-Hour Precip GIF

The GIF above shows the 72-hour precip totals every 12 hours during Florence's travel across the Carolinas. Rainfall was historic. Both North and South Carolina set new all-time rainfall tropical rainstorm records from Florence and the 19.03" reading at Elizabethtown, NC may break the state's 24-hour rainfall record.

Hurricane Florence Final Rainfall Map #3

State Rainfall Records after Florence

The animation below shows the MRMS "return period," meaning that areas that were purple would see 24-hour rainfall amounts as high as this, on average, every 200 years.

But when the entire storm's 3-day precipitation totals are considered, it's one in 1,000 year flood.

And finally, the most incredible flooding photo I've seen comes out of North Carolina, where a bridge collapsed underneath an 18-wheeler.

UPDATE MONDAY SEP 17th: Several all-time records have been broken (as have the gauges!) at USGS River Gauge sites:

A tornado outbreak is occurring across the Richmond, Virginia area, with over 21 Tornado warnings and 13 tornado spotter reports today!

Tornado Warnings & Reports 9/15 (Florence)

MRMS rotational tracks show several possible tornado paths:

MRMS Rotational Tracks 9/17

For hours I watched the clouds twist on the Virginia DOT cams.

UPDATE SATURDAY SEP 15th: Rain amounts are now over 30 inches; maps and a list are below. Over 750,000 customers are still without power, with 16 counties in the Carolinas over 60% out, according to PowerOutage.US. 28 river gauges are expected to go over major or record flooding levels:

Just one example: The Little River at Manchester, NC gauge was installed in 1938. Up until 2016, it had never been over 29 feet. Then Hurricane Matthew pushed it up to 32.19 feet. With Florence, flooding is expected to be 3 feet ABOVE Matthew's level for THREE DAYS.

River Gauge 9/15


Florence 24-Hour Rainfall 9/15 4 PM (NWS)

Florence 72-Hour Rainfall 9/15 4 PM (NWS)


Hurricane Florence is moving through the Carolinas this weekend, and has already (as of Friday afternoon) dropped 20 inches of rain with wind gusts of 112 mph. I'll be updating this list of "greatest hits" all weekend. Below that, you can find my Twitter feed where I'll be posting updates in-between.

The storm is far from over, with one computer forecast model calling for 59 inches of rain between Friday morning and Monday! That probably won't come true, but totals near that aren't out of the question. Nearly 1 million people are without power, with 12 counties in the Carolinas over 80% out.


Since the storm is inland now, these probably won't change much:

NWS High Wind Gusts Florence

NWS WInd Gusts Hurricane Florence


Surf City, NC: 16.64" (USGS)
Surf City, NC: 12.75" (CWOP)
New Bern, NC: 14.26" (USGS)
Swansboro, NC: 14.25" (CoCo)
Calabash, NC: 12.75" (CWOP)
Atlantic Beach, NC: 12.73" (LSR)
Emerald Isle, NC: 11.50" (CoCo)
Morehead City, NC: 10.90" (CoCo)
Newport, NC: 10.75" (CoCo)
Supply, NC: 9.83" (RAWS)
Hofmann Forest, NC: 9.55" (RAWS)

There are also a few questionable rainfall reports under the maps.

* Atlantic Beach, NC: 44.46" (USGS)
* Emerald Isle, NC: 33.81" (USGS)
* Wrightsville Beach, NC: 19.48" (USGS)
* Oriental, NC: 21.64" (HADS)

*Likely bad data; doesn't agree with surrounding stations, except Oriental which NWS says is bad.


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WeatherMatrix (Jesse Ferrell)