When it became clear last week that the looming weather catastrophe wouldn’t be remembered for Hurricane Joaquin, but rather the historic flooding in the Carolinas, I knew that the internet would be plastered with videos of idiots driving through floods come Monday. Idiots came through. Don’t drive through a flood, you idiots.
An intense and historic flood disaster—unrelated to Hurricane Joaquin, but influenced by it—continues to unfold across the Carolinas this afternoon, with South Carolina taking the brunt of the tropical deluge. Some communities near Charleston have recorded more than two feet of rain in the past three days.
Good news! We’re pretty sure that Hurricane Joaquin is going to head out to sea, with the chance of landfall on the United States fairly low at this point. The bad news is that there will still be more than a foot of rain in parts of the Carolinas, and stiff onshore winds and high waves will create coastal flooding in the Mid-Atlantic much like a storm surge would.
While we’ve stressed over the eventual track of powerful Hurricane Joaquin over the next few days, a concerning number of people may not be aware that a significant—potentially devastating—flash flood event will take place with or without the hurricane coming close to land. Many spots could see more than a foot of rain this weekend.
Last night, a destructive tornado tore through a community near Charleston, S.C., destroying homes and lofting debris tens of thousands of feet into the air. Tornadoes were not in the forecast last night—this happened largely by surprise. Owning a weather radio is your best defense against unexpected natural disasters like this.
All eyes gazed toward the Atlantic as brilliant white clouds billowed skyward, signaling the arrival of the long-awaited newcomer. The crowds rejoiced, and a voice shouted down: “Habemus precip!” And so it was. Rain in the southeast is a religious experience these days, and there’s going to be a lot of it hanging around through the weekend.
Once upon a time, it used to get uncomfortably hot in June. Remember those days? It was just a few years ago, but after last year’s cakewalk they called “summer”, this year’s heat is going to seem downright brutal and unforgiving. A heat wave is cranking up in the southeast right now, and it’s going to get ugly.
A disruptive ice storm is likely going to unfold across parts of North Carolina and Virginia tonight as a fast-moving disturbance skirts the coast and drops freezing rain. The system threatens to produce significant accretions of ice along I-95 from Florence, S.C. to Richmond, Virginia, making travel impossible at times.
Tropical Storm Arthur is on the verge of becoming a hurricane at this hour, with winds of 70 MPH. Hurricane warnings are now in effect for coastal North Carolina from Surf City, N.C. northward to Duck, N.C. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for coastal areas from South Santee River, S.C. to Surf City, N.C. and from Duck, N.C. to Cape Charles Light, Virginia.