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Hurricane Florence facing an uncertain future

Hurricane Florence underwent a significant reorganization and strengthening trend overnight, but seems to have leveled off in intensity with winds around 90 mph reported by hurricane hunters. From this point forth, both track and intensity guidance are highly divergent. Just about the only thing that the models agree on is that Bermuda is going to get hit with a weak to moderate strength hurricane. At least it isn't getting any stronger right now.

The reorganization of Florence has finally led to the formation of a core and associated eye. However, the eyewall remains very ragged and broken. Florence has had a very hard time establishing her inner structure.

While the models are calling for a direct strike on Bermuda, they rapidly diverge after that point. A lot of this scatter is likely due to differences in anticipation of Florence's transition to an extra-tropical system.

The wind speed forecasts are even less in agreement than the track forecasts. Part of the disagreement is due to the resolution of the model and the remainder involves differences handling the storm itself. The global models, such as the AVN, Eta, NGM, CMC, etc tend to underestimate the strength of a hurricane due to the maximum wind being calculated as an average over a much larger area than hurricane specific models like the GFDL and DSHIPS produce.

With all of this said, the cone of doom is locked squarely onto Bermuda where a hurricane warning is in effect. Tropical Storm force winds have already spread over the island, but they seem prepared.

Posted by Bryan Woods | Permalink