UPDATE: As of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the National Weather Service in Wilmington has predicted that Tropical Storm Hermine’s projected path will now be further west, affecting more parts of the Carolinas. While the amount of rainfall expected has remained the same, strong wind gusts are now expected in inland as well as coastal areas. The potential for tornadoes has also increased along the coast. The next update from NWS Wilmington will be released Thursday morning.
Tropical Storm Hermine, currently in the Gulf of Mexico is expected to move northeast and cause flooding in southeastern North Carolina on Friday.
According to Steve Pfaff of the National Weather Service in Wilmington, the risk for flooding is high as 5 to 10 inches of rain are expected to fall in the region between Thursday night and Saturday morning. All of New Hanover County and parts of Brunswick and Pender counties are expected to be the hardest hit.
“The eventual amount and distribution of rainfall will be highly dependent on the storm’s track; however, high confidence exists in the potential for flooding,” states the threat assessment released by NWS Wilmington.
Forecasters say a flash flood warning may be issued. Most at risk are low-lying areas, particularly near bodies of water, as well as roads and parking lots that could flood as stormwater drains and retention ponds fill up.
There is also a moderate-level threat for damaging wind gusts that could topple trees and cause power outages. If the storm tracks farther west than currently predicted, the threat for strong winds could decrease. However, a more westerly track could increase the risk for tropical tornadoes along the coast, according to NWS Wilmington meteorologist Mark Bacon. The threat of dangerous rip currents will also remain throughout the weekend.
The storm’s track and expected impact will continue to be monitored by the National Hurricane Center. This story will be updated as the NWS Wilmington releases more information.