When it comes to natural disasters, everything can change in the blink of an eye
When The Beacon interviewed chief meteorologist Steve Weagle for WPTV news, there were three tropical storms forming in the Atlantic Ocean. Less than a week later, people in four different states were preparing for the worst as Hurricane Florence strengthened to a Category 4 storm and headed for the East Coast.
The storm was initially expected to move in a northward direction, putting people as far as Virginia at risk. But Hurricane Florence took an unexpected turn to the south on Wednesday morning, giving people in Georgia, as well as South Carolina and North Carolina, cause for concern.
Just before Florence made landfall, it downgraded to a Category 1.
But this does not mean that cities along the coast are in the clear yet. According to CBS News, Florence is expected to bring as much as 40 inches of rainfall and cause severe flooding in both North and South Carolina.
And even after Florence dies out, three more potential threats, Tropical Storms Helene and Isaac and Subtropical Storm Joyce, are in its wake.
Weagle says that this onslaught is a result of pressure that has been quietly building in the Atlantic.
“Hurricanes love warm water and low wind shear and for a long time nothing was working for them and there wasn’t much going on,” he said. “And now, everything is coming together and we are seeing some pretty big storms.”
Weagle warns that the best way to be prepared is to stay informed about the constantly shifting paths of these unpredictable threats.
“Always keep an eye out during hurricane season to know if anything is coming,” Weagle said.