Hurricane Florence likely not a threat to Pee Dee

September 6, 2018

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Hurricane Florence, a Category 3 storm churning up the mid-Atlantic Ocean, is probably nothing Florence has to worry about.

The key time for the Pee Dee will be over the weekend when the storm is forecast to take a turn more to the north, said Reid Hawkins, science officer for the National Weather Service Office in Wilmington.

The forecast models are in near agreement on Florence for up to four days out, Hawkins said. After that the models vary, and than has thrown some uncertainty into the storm’s track, he said.

He said the turn is forecast to happen later in the weekend.

At issue is a steering ridge across the Atlantic and whether — and possibly when and where — there is a weakness in it that would allow the storm to travel a more westerly course, he said.

And if Florence makes it through the ridge, there is a large area of dry air between the Carolinas coast and the storm, Hawkins said.

Either way, Hawkins said, residents should keep an eye on the weather and the Atlantic during the season and especially next week, which is the height of hurricane season.

And if Florence doesn’t make the turn, and if the dry air doesn’t deter it, and if the path eventually brings it ashore near the Pee Dee, it would do so by Wednesday or Thursday of next week, Hawkins said.

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