Q&A: Hermine's path, effects, timeline

Posted September 2, 2016

Many have asked about the threat of tornadoes for tomorrow and tomorrow night and this might help clear up who has the greatest threat. The areas shaded in yellow have an 'Elevated Risk' for severe weather associated with Hermine. This region has the potential to see some isolated tornadoes spin off from Hermine. The areas in green run a 'Marginal Risk' for severe weather and a slim chance a tornado could be produced.

After making landfall along Florida's Gulf Coast early this morning, Tropical Storm Hermine is now churning through Georgia and the Carolinas, and the storm was expected to bring significant wind and rain to central North Carolina through early Saturday.

Hermine is expected to cause some flooding and traffic problems for the first half of the Labor Day weekend.

Some questions and answers about Hermine's impact:

Where will it go?

Hermine came ashore just east of Talahassee and was on a northeast path across the eastern half of Georgia and South Carolina Friday. The storm is forecast to cross into North Carolina just north of Myrtle Beach and to stay over land west of Wilmington before veering back out to sea east of the Outer Banks by Saturday at noon.

By Sunday morning, the storm will be well offshore but is forecast to slow down and could linger along the coastline of the northeastern United States through the rest of the holiday weekend.

When will NC be affected?

Rainfall from the outer bands of Hermine began in Raleigh around noon on Friday and will intensify through Friday night.

As the storm moves off the Outer Banks, skies will clear. The sun returns Saturday afternoon in Raleigh and by Sunday along the North Carolina coast.

How much rain?

Rainfall amounts will vary greatly based on location, WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner said, but all of central and eastern North Carolina can expect rain thanks to Hermine and the cold front it will interact with as it moves through the state. A flood watch is in effect for most of the viewing area through Saturday morning. Flooding is likely, especially east of Raleigh.

Coastal communities will see the most precipitation, with localized amounts reaching 6 to 10 inches.

Rainfall amounts will likely be less in the Triangle and surrounding areas, but even spots in Wake County and nearby could see up to 4 inches of rain between Friday and Saturday afternoon, with locally heavier amounts possible.

"You could see very different rainfall totals between areas like Raleigh and a couple of counties to the east," Gardner said. "As you get closer to the coast, expect impressive and potentially dangerous rainfall amounts to be more widespread."

Areas in and around the Triad will likely see less rain, totaling up to 2 inches.

What about the wind?

As Hermine moves through Georgia and South Carolina, it will weaken further. However, a wind advisory is in effect for the southern part of North Carolina.

Winds will gust up to 40 mph, causing spotty power outages.

Along the coast, wind gusts will reach 50 mph.

With the ground likely saturated in many places, trees could come down and cause power outages, Gardner said.

What's the weekend forecast for the Triangle?

Saturday morning will be wet across the Triangle, but by the afternoon hours, conditions will begin to improve.

Sunshine will be back on Sunday as high temperatures climb into the mid-80s. It will be dry but breezy as Hermine pulls away.

Should I cancel Labor Day plans?

It depends, but probably not. Friday afternoon through Saturday morning will be very wet and breezy, but weather will improve rapidly from south to north during the day on Saturday.

Right now, Sunday and Monday look quite nice just about everywhere in North Carolina. Some areas may be cleaning up from flooding and some widely scattered power outages that could come as a result of Hermine.

How can I sign up for weather alerts from WRAL?

The WRAL Weather Alert app knows where you go and sends alerts to your mobile phone when the weather gets bad.

The interactive hurricane tracker allows you to zoom in and layer on weather warnings, lightning strikes and even cloud cover. Check the latest track anytime.


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