Any coastal North Carolina readers out there?

When you can, how ’bout leaving comments on the conditions you’re experiencing from Florence. PWS and webcams seem to disagree with NHC.

Earlier this afternoon, someone asked when the storm was expected to hit the coast. She asked because she’d hot some NC webcams, and conditions looked pretty peaceful. I was slightly surprised because according to the National Hurricane Center’s 2PM update, tropical storm force winds covered the entire coast, extending well inland.

Then I checked the 5PM update, and saw that hurricane force winds had engulfed Wilmington. I started checking personal weather stations and webcams there.

Some showed a light breeze, some a little rain. Winds were anywhere from 7-19 MPH, with gusts as high as 27. Not exactly hurricane conditions.

I looked more. Farther north up the coast, I found two stations that reported gust of 57 and 64 MPH, but surrounding stations were more like 30 MPH gusts, with much lower sustained winds. Not much rain. So flooding from surge.

Currently Topsail Beach Fire Dept, in the Wilmington area is reporting zero precipitation, winds 31, gusts 39. The National Weather Service is reporting rain, winds out of the north at 18, gusts to 45.

But NHC says hurricane conditions.

I saw similar stuff with Matthew in 2016. Cat 4 conditions up the Florida coast from NHC, personal weather stations reporting tropical storm force — at most — winds. By the time it hit my town, they were calling it Cat 2, even as a guy was livestreaming walking around outside, sarcastically comment on the horrible winds (gentle breezes barely shifting the spanish moss), heavy rain (sprinkles), and flooding (water puddles). Now being a coastal town, downtown did flood from the surge, but that’s normal.

Irma in 2017 also seemed to be overstated by the NHC compared to personal weather stations, but I’ll admit it was still a bitch. We did see hurricane conditions here. About a weak Cat 1 (bad enough), while the NHC said mid-level Cat 2.

So… what are people seeing in the Carolinas?

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