KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - We've had a lot of questions about how Florence could impact our weather here in East Tennessee.
There are still a LOT of unknowns with the path of Florence and until we know the exact path and where it makes landfall, we won't be able to know the exact impacts here in East Tennessee.
Florence is still a major category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds as of 11 p.m. Tuesday and is moving WNW at 17 mph. It is located about 670 miles away from Cape Fear, North Carolina.
The confidence in the track over the next few days is still rather high (the cone is narrow), but notice as we get closer to landfall and beyond, the cone is wider, meaning more uncertainty as to where it could go. The trend late Tuesday as been to more of a southward shift by the National Hurricane Center which agrees with some of the late day forecast models
One thing we are fairly confident about is the coastal areas of North and South Carolina will be heavily impacted by winds and storm surge. In fact, storm surge values could be between 10-12 feet or more from Wilmington to the Outer Banks and for the inlets/rivers just inland.
Torrential rainfall and possibly catastrophic flooding appear to be the main concerns across central and eastern inland areas of North Carolina, especially if Florence slows down or stall across that area. Around 1 to 2 feet of rain with some higher totals are possible for some areas.
These totals will vary depending on exact path, but even these two forecast models agree that somewhere in the Carolinas and possibly Virginia could see this type of flooding.
The main thing we will focus on here in East Tennessee will be landfall and then after that, we will have a better idea as to where Florence goes from there. As of now, we do not expect any damaging winds from Florence across our area, but the higher elevations of the Smokies could see some gusty 30 mph+ winds. There could be some higher rain totals across the higher elevations as well, but as of now it doesn't look like a total weekend washout.