Although more than a million people are under evacuation orders along the coasts of the Carolinas and Virginia, the District and its surrounding areas probably will not experience significant impacts from Hurricane Florence, now a Category 3 storm, over the weekend.
With the storm expected to move south, “we may see little or no rain in the Washington region,” the Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang reports. “Unless the forecast changes markedly, there is no need to cancel outdoor plans, events, or travel in the Washington region this weekend due to Hurricane Florence.” Still, if the storm turns north after making landfall and weakening somewhat, the area may see rain from its remnants early next week.
That rain could cause a bit of flooding in the area, given that the region has already seen a significant amount of rainfall this year. But it is not anticipated to be catastrophic or severe.
The updated forecast comes after D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser declared a state of emergency on Tuesday for the first time in two and a half years, warning residents and visitors to “take this storm seriously.” Officials continue to monitor the hurricane and coordinate resources.
“Hurricane forecasting is complex and while we know Hurricane Florence’s impacts to the District will not be as extreme as once predicted, we won’t let up our preparations until we are sure Washington, DC is in the clear,” Bowser wrote in a newsletter message to residents on Thursday. “Even with the new forecast, Washington, DC will likely experience rain resulting in minor to moderate flooding and possible downed trees and power lines.”
To the south, tropical storm force winds will likely hit the North Carolina coast on Thursday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center. Florence’s maximum sustained winds are currently registering at 120 mph, and the storm is moving northwest at roughly 16 mph.
This post has been updated with additional comment from Bowser.
- Hurricane Florence strengthens as 1 million people are told to flee US East Coast [CNN]
- Dangerous Category 3 Hurricane Florence to blast Carolinas with perilous conditions for over 24 hours [AccuWeather]
- Hurricane Florence to have little effect on D.C. area through the weekend. Chance of rain next week. [Washington Post]
- 39.74 inches: D.C. hits average year’s rainfall well before 2018’s end [Curbed DC]
- D.C. declares state of emergency for Hurricane Florence [Curbed DC]