Hurricane Florence Spaghetti Models: When, Where Would Hurricane Florence Hit the United States if No Recurve?

Florence Spaghetti Models
Hurricane Florence spaghetti models Thursday show a move west toward the U.S. remains possible. stormvistawxmodels.com

Will Hurricane Florence defy historical patterns and make a run for the United States East Coast? That's the question plaguing forecasters as Hurricane Florence spaghetti models, used to predict the storm's path, continued to show the possibility of U.S. East Coast engagement. The odds may be slightly increasing, also.

If Florence does track toward the U.S., it would become troubling news since the National Hurricane Center said today in the latest forecast update it expects the storm to regain major hurricane strength in four to five days—just before it would threaten East Coast interests. Such a move so far west by Florence would be against the norm, however, but models continue to suggest the possibility.

Florence is currently located about 1100 miles east-southeast of Bermuda, moving northwest at 10 miles per hour, according to the latest update Thursday from the National Hurricane Center. Hurricanes in that vicinity historically rarely reach the United States, forecasters say. Instead, they usually recurve from such a position, floating away from the East Coast and avoiding landfall.

But there's something unusual setting up for Hurricane Florence in terms of a possible steering pattern, and that's why the discussion continues about whether the storm will actually make a run toward the United States, potentially threatening states from North Carolina to Virginia and New York.

"The models agree that an upper-level ridge of high pressure will be stronger than usual across the Northeast U.S. and Northwest Atlantic next week, and this raises the odds of a potential U.S. landfall," Accuweather reported today. "The big question is whether any breaks in this ridge will allow Florence to recurve at some point early next week.

"The European and GFS model ensembles each include some members that steer Florence out to sea and others that bring Florence onto the East Coast. Overall, though, the European model is more inclined than the GFS model to produce a landfall."

The latest Hurricane Florence spaghetti forecast models obtained by Newsweek from StormVista suggests odds of about 50-50 that the storm will directly hit or get close to U.S. interests. Forecasters at The Weather Channel agree a move toward the U.S. is possible, saying, "there is a chance that Florence could move on a path that would take it close, or directly strike, at least parts of the East Coast of the United States later next week."

There's no cause for immediate concern, however, since a U.S. landfall could not occur until next week, likely no earlier than late Wednesday. But interests along the East Coast can't help but wonder, with Florence's unusual potential path continually showing up in models: When and where would Hurricane Florence hit along the U.S. East Coast if it doesn't recurve?

Some of the latest models show areas that could possibly be hit next week are North Carolina, the mid-Atlantic and the Northeast Coast. Florida, however, isn't appearing in the Hurricane Florence path.

"The 0Z Thursday operational run of the European model brings Florence into North Carolina on Wednesday night, September 12, while the 0Z and 6Z Thursday runs of the GFS take Florence on a slow clockwise loop several hundred miles off the mid-Atlantic and Northeast coast," Accuweather reported today.

"The 12Z Thursday run of the GFS brings Florence into southeast New England on Friday, September 14. Meanwhile, the 0Z and 12Z UKMET model tracks are much further south, suggesting that the ridge could be strong enough to keep Florence heading west-northwest toward the Southeast U.S. coast."

The reason such potential U.S. impact causes concern is that Hurricane Florence is expected to regain major hurricane status by Monday or Tuesday—just a day or two before it could hit the U.S. But all forecasters, including the National Hurricane Center, are reminding that the Hurricane Florence forecast track remains uncertain at this point.

"There is still considerable model ensemble spread for Florence's track beyond Day 5," the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update today. "Given the large uncertainty at these time ranges, it is far too soon to speculate what, if any, impacts Florence may have on the U.S. East Coast next week."

Hurricane Florence Spaghetti Models: When, Where Would Hurricane Florence Hit the United States if No Recurve? | U.S.