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First Alert Weather: Keep an eye on Florence, it could have an impact on the U.S. down the road

SARASOTA, FL (WWSB) - Hurricane Florence may not be just a storm causing problems for shipping and fish after all.

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Florence Spaghetti

Forecast models split on where she will go in the long term

Forecast models are now trending more toward the west over the past few computer runs.  The UKMET (United Kingdom model) has been consistent in moving it west all along, while the EURO and GFS had it being picked up by a trough of low pressure and heading North out to sea over the next few days.

It is interesting to note that from Tuesday to Wednesday it rapidly developed from a cat. 1 storm to a major cat. 4 storm in less than 24 hours.  Consider the fact that on Tuesday the intensity forecast called for Florence to weaken on Wednesday back down to a tropical storm.  Instead it went from a 85 mph storm on Tuesday at 5 p.m. to a 130 mph storm at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.

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Florence Forecast

Models shifting westward which could be bad for U.S.

This shows you that intensity forecasting still has a long way to go compared to where the storm track forecasting skills are at this time.

Either way by Monday it is expected to generate big surf along the E. coast of the U.S..  By Monday we will have a much better handle on what other impacts might be felt from Florence on the East coast.

If Florence misses a trough moving to the N. of it, then high pressure is expected to build in after and push the cyclone on a more westerly course next week.

This would put the United States at a greater risk to see Florence have a more significant impact.  It's too early to tell exactly where she will end up, but it is starting to look like it will miss the trough and stay on a more westerly course next week.  Stay tuned anything can happen with this one.

For Suncoast weather we can expect an upper air disturbance to be moving on Thursday and will enhance our rain chances over the next few days.

Dry air will move through the area on Thursday morning and then later in the day things will moisten up as an upper air disturbance move in from the east.

Look for a good chance for late day storms on Thursday.  The morning and early afternoon should be mostly sunny with increasing cloudiness in the mid afternoon.

Highs will be in the upper 80s near the beaches and low 90s elsewhere. 

We will continue to see elevated rain chances in the afternoon and evening through Saturday and then high pressure along with some drier air will settle in for Sunday and Monday thus lowering our rain chances on those days.

Bob Harrigan

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