The following text is valid for southeast North Carolina and northeast South Carolina.
This morning's NHC "official" center track continues to be well north of our area, with a dramatic reduction in rainfall and wind impacts, especially over Horry County. A Hurricane Watch has been posted for all of the coastal areas. Here are the NHC graphics, and then I'm going to explain why I'm a bit uncomfortable with it.
So... yay for the northerly track, right? In theory, for SE NC and NE SC... yes. But the model guidance doesn't quite jive with what NHC is saying. NHC even admits that there is a low confidence in their forecast.
The European models (plural now), many of the members bring Florence right over our heads.
This trend concerns me quite a bit. The Euro physics wants to keep a strong high pressure ridge over the north Atlantic ocean, essentially "shoving" Florence closer to our area.
This next one is from the UK Climate Office, and represents the "average" solution.
And here is the GFS (North American), still kind of drunk. Has the storm absolutely obliterate the OBX, followed by a southerly turn to impact us.
Put it all together and you get this mess:
So I'm hesitant to grab the pom-poms and three cheers for the newest "official" forecast. The north Atlantic ridge, the ridge over the Great Lakes, and a disturbance to our south are making a mess out of the modeling.
The fact that the majority of the Euro members shove this thing back south closer to us raises lots of red flags. Historically the Euro suite is a top-performing model... it has earned the respect over time.
My opinion: Take the NHC forecast with a grain of salt, not let our guard down, and continue to prepare for the worst.