Storm Helene to batter NI as severe weather warning is issued
15 September, 2018, 09:55 | Author: Marie Harrington
Forecasters say Florence is expected to blow ashore late Thursday or early Friday, then slow down and dump 1 to 2½ feet of rain that could cause flooding well inland and wreak environmental havoc by washing over industrial waste sites and hog farms.
Although Helene is now a hurricane, it will weaken and be downgraded to a tropical storm by the time it reaches the Azores. "A NOAA buoy located about 80 miles (130 km) south of the center of Florence has recently reported sustained winds of 52 km (83 km/h) with a gust to 64 mph (104 km/h)".
The Met Office said a Tropical Storm Warning was in effect for Guadeloupe, Dominica and Martinique but was expected to be discontinued by Thursday evening.
A yellow - "be aware" - warning, which also covers parts of South Ayrshire, was issued by the Met Office today. Tropical storm watches are up in Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Martin, St. Maarten, and Saba & St. Eustatius. Little change in strength is expected over the next several hours. A Tropical Storm Watch means that tropical storm conditions are possible within the watch area, in this case within 24 to 36 hours.
Interests elsewhere in the Leeward Islands should monitor the progress of Isaac.
While now classified as a hurricane, Helene will be downgraded to a storm by the time it reaches the shores of Northern Ireland. Emerald Isle is about 84 miles north of Wilmington.
Rain projections also increased, with some locations along the North Carolina coast now expected to get up to 40 inches. "It is important to note that the area affected by a tropical cyclone can extend well beyond the confines of the cone enclosing the most likely track area of the center".
The NHC is estimating that as many as 20 inches of rain could fall in some places along the southern North Carolina coast while bringing in excess of 10 inches of rain in parts of SC.
The mammoth waves were spotted early Wednesday in the storm's northeast quadrant, said the NHC's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch, which has been documenting Florence's waves all week. It is moving to the west-northwest at 6 miles per hour.
Storm Helene is heading towards the UK from the Atlantic and is separate from Hurricaine Florence, which is starting to hit the eastern United States.
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An executive order from the Myrtle Beach City Manager says no one can go into the ocean as Hurricane Florence approaches. However, it was projected Wednesday that Florence would shift slightly to the south and possibly hit Georgia as well.
Some 200,000 people are reported to be without power as winds down power lines and cause destruction across coastlines. It will likely weaken more on Friday, with "rapid weakening forecast over the weekend", the hurricane center said.
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The element will lead to a "life-threatening storm surges, exceptionally strong heavy rains and destructive winds", they say. NASA's Aqua satellite caught Hurricane Florence developing an eye Sunday as the storm ramped up its intensity.