Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Met Eireann 'to monitor situation' as Storm Helene approaches

The forecast track for Tropical Storm Isaac at 11 a.m The forecast track for Tropical Storm Isaac at 11 a.m
Derrick Tucker | 15 September, 2018, 09:56

Sustained winds remained at 90 miles per hour, but the storm - which was never expected to threaten the US coast - should begin to weaken over the next day and become a tropical storm on Thursday, forecasters said in an 11 a.m. advisory.

The storm is now around 530 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and is moving west-northwest at 17 mph.

The biggest threats from Hurricane Florence are life-threatening storm surge, devastating flash-flooding, and hurricane-force winds.

North Carolina alone is forecast to get 9.6 trillion gallons (36 trillion liters), enough to cover the Tar Heel state to a depth of about 10 inches (25 centimeters).

The "cone of error" in the forecast track only predicts where the storm's center might go, and even on its edges, winds can push a powerful storm surge into shore dozens of miles from where Florence's eyewall strikes land.

"Sustained hurricane-force winds occurring along the North Carolina coast", the briefing said.

Tecklenburg said his flood-prone city is preparing for "copious rain" by clearing out the city's drainage system and getting boats and portable pumps ready. "Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves", the NHC added.

Tropical storm warnings were issued for Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe.

Prisoners were affected, too.

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The tropics are still looking busy Friday as Hurricane Florence pounds the Carolinas and other systems continue swirling in the Atlantic Ocean.

Helene is among a glut of tropical storms brewing in the region, with mass evacuations under way in southern USA states as Florence barrels across Virginia and the Carolinas.

Spanish moss waved in the trees as the winds picked up in Wilmington, and floating docks bounced atop swells at Morehead City.

Some predictions cautioned not to rule out the possibility of Isaac restrengthening as it passes over the warm western Caribbean waters into the equally warm Gulf of Mexico.

Rain projections also increased, with some locations along the North Carolina coast now expected to get up to 40 inches.

Some coastal flooding is possible in areas of onshore winds.

Once a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 140 miles per hour, the hurricane was downgraded to a Category 1 on Thursday night.

"According to the IPMA's forecast, it is likely that the western islands [Flores and Corvo] should begin to feel the effects of the storm from Saturday afternoon".

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