'Ghost of Florence:' Remnants may develop into 'hybrid' low
Wednesday, September 19, 2018, 4:25 PM - Thousands of homes and roadways across the Carolinas remain under water as swollen rivers threaten more flooding. That's less than a week after Hurricane Florence made landfall as a destructive, but massive and slow-moving Category 1 storm. Now, we're closely watching as the remnants of Florence, which were swept off the continent, are left behind and are expected to develop into a system off the U.S. eastern seaboard. More on this "ghost of Florence" and potential impact, below.
FLORENCE: A DEADLY STORM
After strengthening to a major Category 4 hurricane, Florence was downgraded in terms of wind impact as it made landfall. The Category 1 storm however, still boasted gusts of 145 km/h when it hit North Carolina's coast early last Friday. The sheer size and amount of rain and storm surge it produced is what put this cyclone into record setting status.
Structural damage is immense after upwards of 900 mm of rain has been recorded in parts of North Carolina since last Thursday. At least 16 rivers remain at a major flood stage, with three others set to crest in the coming days in North Carolina, the state said.
Houses sit in floodwater caused by Hurricane Florence, in this aerial picture, on the outskirts of Lumberton, North Carolina, U.S. September 17, 2018. REUTERS/Jason Miczek
Florence has killed at least 35 people with one person killed in Virginia when a tornado spun off from the storm. Officials say more than 15,000 people remain in shelters with upwards of 200,000 still without power several days after landfall. But humans weren't the only ones affected. Millions of livestock including chickens, turkeys and hogs were also killed as farms flooded.
"GHOST OF FLORENCE"
WATCH BELOW: REMNANTS OF FLORENCE MAY RE-FORM IN THE NEXT 7 DAYS
With so much devastation and recovery still very much underway, the "ghost of Florence" lurks in the warm Gulf stream waters off the eastern seaboard of the U.S.
"The remnants of Florence will get left behind and develop into a system or a hybrid/subtropical low," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham.
Over the next several days, Florence will do what it does best: stick around. The remnants of the ex-hurricane will linger offshore, with several computer models highlighting that it may re-develop into a subtropical low between the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. and Bermuda.
Into next week, a strong high pressure system pressing south through the Maritimes may guide this hybrid low close to the U.S. East Coast once again, but there's a low chance that Florence strengthens enough to regain its name. However, this is still something to watch as it could bring additional rainfall to the already swollen Carolinas, should it transpire.
But our focus won't end with Florence's final performance. Looking ahead into the new month, Gillham adds that "there's also the potential for the pattern to become more active heading into early October."