Hurricane Helene has Britain in its sights

Carlton Robbins
September 14, 2018

A slow southwestward motion is expected for the next couple of days. Many areas in the low-lying city flood with routine rain storms, causing street closures and detours.

The National Hurricane Center (N.H.C.) in its 5:00 p.m. advisory said all tropical storm watches and warnings for Isaac have been discontinued, news that will be welcomed by interests in the Caribbean.

It's a potentially catastrophic Category 4 storm with 130 miles per hour (215 kph) maximum sustained winds.

"Isaac has become less organized and is now a weak Tropical Storm". However, experts remained unsure midday Wednesday where the storm would make landfall in the Carolinas. Wind shear, which refers to fluctuations in wind strength in the atmosphere, something that tears storms apart, is present in Isaac's path.

Florence is unlike Hurricane Hugo, a category 4 storm that struck Charleston in 1989. The Appalachians could see 3 to 6 inches of rain, with isolated areas of 12 inches.

And Hurricane Florence will take aim at the Southeast coast of the United States late this week, likely as a major hurricane.

Terrifying as the situation is (I am regularly checking on my folks, who abandoned Charleston for the highlands of North Carolina), there is a silver lining. In South Carolina, local officials reported 300,000 had already evacuated the coast as of Wednesday.

Helene is now 2,065km south-southwest of the Azores in the Atlantic and Met Éireann said the storm would approach the south coast by Tuesday. Tropical storms generate winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour, just below hurricane force.

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"Regardless of development, heavy rainfall and gusty winds are expected across portions of northeastern Mexico, Texas, and Louisiana on Friday and Saturday", the hurricane center said.

The National Hurricane Center is predicting the storm will produce "catastrophic flash flooding and significant river flooding".

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Still closer to Africa than North America, Hurricane Helene is predicted to head northeast in the Atlantic, then veer toward Europe, the center said.

This storm is lined up behind Florence in the Atlantic.

The water could reach as high as 9 to 13 feet "from Cape Fear to Cape Lookout, including the Neuse, Pamlico, Pungo and Bay Rivers".

President Donald Trump declared states of emergency for North and SC and Virginia, opening the way for federal aid.

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