Sep 19, 2018

After Florence: What's Next in the Atlantic

Wilmington, NC
USA
by
Jeff Masters
,
Weather Underground

 

As North Carolina and South Carolina struggle to recover from flood waters that are still rising, and with the storm’s death toll now at 37, it is sobering to think that Florence’s floods could easily have been even worse. Prior to the arrival Hurricane Florence, much of South Carolina and southern parts of North Carolina were experiencing unusually dry soil moisture for this time of year. Despite the capacity for the soils to absorb more moisture than usual from the hurricane’s rains, the historic rainfall was enough to overcome soil moisture deficits, saturate the soil, then create catastrophic flooding. Had the soils already been wetter than average (as they were farther to the north, over Virginia), Florence’s floods would have been even worse. NASA Sport has a blog post with more details; weather.com has a continuously updating feature story on Florence’s flooding.