Hurricane Florence has been upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane by the National Hurricane Center this morning. Florence continues to move on a westward track and the experts at the National Hurricane Service predict a direct hit to the North Carolina coast Thursday into Friday. Florence is expected to come ashore in the Wilmington/Wrightsville beach area as a category 4 storm with winds as high as 140 mph.
Accomack County, Northampton County and Chincoteague Island have all declared a State of Emergency as of noon today, Monday, September 10, 2018 in preparation of Hurricane Florence. We will have more on this from local Emergency Management Officials soon.
What happens after that is still in question. Two computer models, the European and the American or GFS which typically are the most accurate of all of the different models show slightly different outcomes. The European model has Florence moving ashore at Wilmington and moving inland possibly stalling over east central North Carolina.
The GSF model has Florence moving ashore between Wilmington and stalling closer to the coast. That could mean the Eastern Shore could get winds gusting to tropical storm strength throughout next weekend. There could be higher tides resulting in coastal flooding.
As Florence approaches the coast the forecast should come together and provide a clearer picture of what the effects here on the Eastern Shore will be. As of Monday morning there is a 40-50% chance of tropical storm gusts hitting Northampton County on Friday. Accomack has a 30-40% chance of tropical storm force winds this weekend. Those probabilities could change as the week progresses.