Residents are waking up to the remnants of Hurricane Michael this morning after the storm moved inland from the Gulf Coast of Florida.
After hitting the panhandle of the Sunshine State near Mexico Beach, Michael made his way north across the Southeast as he slowed to a tropical storm before moving across North Carolina.
According to National Weather Service Raleigh meteorologist James Morrow, residents can expect about 12 to 16 hours of rain, sustained winds around 20-25 mph with gusts near 40.
“We’re expecting the major impact to be heavy rain,” Mr. Morrow told The Daily Record. “We’re looking at anywhere from 3 to 6 inches with locally heavier amounts.”
With such a large amount of rain, no stranger to area residents lately, will come the strong possibility of heavy, localized flash flooding that could have an impact throughout the day.
“That’s all going to fall in about a 12- to 18-hour period,” he said. “That could lead to some localized flooding, both street flooding and also some flash flooding. That could eventually lead to some river flooding.”
Mr. Morrow predicted residents would see strong winds embedded in the bands of rain which will push across the area starting early this morning as the remnants of Michael’s eye wall move just to the south of the Harnett County area.
“That alone will have some windy conditions,” he said. “As that’s pushing north and east we could see wind gusts of 20 to 25 mph with those gusts reaching 35 mph at times.”
As for when the rain will finally come to an end, Mr. Morrow said expect it to continue until around midnight.
“I would say it would pull out right around midnight,” he said. “It’s going to go from about 8 a.m. through about midnight Thursday night.”
The storm’s impact, even as a tropical storm, will be prominent as it finishes its march across North Carolina. Moving through in a much quicker time than Florence, but still leaving the potential for some hazardous conditions.
“This is going to be a unique situation,” Mr. Morrow said. “Florence dumped a lot of rain over a large period of time — so there was a lot of flooding. This system is going to be over us only about 16 hours, so we’re seeing a lot of rain in a short amount of time. So, that’s going to be a lot of water all at once that’s going to cause a different type of flooding.”
He said the winds will be similar but yet different as well. Because the storm is moving so quickly, the impact from the winds won’t be as long in duration as they were with Hurricane Florence, lessening the impact somewhat.
“When it comes to wind you’re going to see similar impacts,” he said. “The only difference is the wind is going through in a shorter amount of time. We’re only getting 12 hours of gusty winds whereas Florence gave us gusty winds for 24 to 48 hours.”
If there’s such a thing as a silver lining to this storm it should come tomorrow. He said the storm will clear out of the area quickly and leave behind it the weather most residents, weary from the lingering summer-like conditions, are looking forward to seeing develop.
Mr. Morrow indicated a significant cool off is predicted to begin Friday, with temperatures staying cool and the air staying dry the rest of the weekend.
“We’re going to get a front that comes through and this may actually gives us our first taste of fall,” he said. “Friday we’re going to see a high of 75 with a low Friday night of 52, so we could easily see some upper 40s Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday night in spots around our area.”
Mr. Morrow added the high temperature on Saturday is predicted to only reach 70 degrees.
“The next chance of rain isn’t until Monday of next week,” he said. “So for what we’ve been seeing that’s probably going to feel great.”