GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – The WITN First Alert Weather Team continues to monitor Tropical Storm Idalia and category 4 Hurricane Franklin as it tracks through the Atlantic.
As of the 8:00 am Monday advisory, Franklin is now a category 4 storm. Maximum sustained winds have increased to 130 mph with gusts up to 150 mph. Franklin’s steady intensification may allow for additional strengthening over the coming days.
Franklin’s path is forecast to move to the northeast and will pass outside of Bermuda, staying well off the coast of North Carolina before it heads out to sea.
As for local impacts from Franklin, inland areas will be spared from all of the potential impacts. However, big ocean swells will cause headaches along our coast. Beachgoers should expect to see dangerous rip current threats starting today and lasting through Wednesday. Beach erosion and coastal flooding will also be an issue for some communities due to a King Tide event that will persist today through Thursday. Major flooding is unlikely, but ocean overwash along Highway 12 will be possible around high tide (6am and 6pm).
Now we turn our attention to Tropical Storm Idalia that formed Sunday morning in the Yucatán Peninsula. As of the 5 a.m. update today, Idalia was moving to the north at 7 mph. Winds have increased to 65 mph, with higher gusts. Hurricane Watches are now up for some parts of Florida’s west coast. As the storm moves into the Gulf of Mexico, Idalia could strengthen to category 2 or 3 hurricane as it approaches the northwest Florida coast late Tuesday night.
We will have to watch for impacts from this system here in eastern North Carolina. As of now, the track is expected to make a sharp right turn as it heads towards Georgia Wednesday night and the Carolinas on Thursday. Based on the latest forecast from the NHC, Eastern NC could see wind gusts from 30 mph (inland) to 50 mph (coast) mph. Storm surge levels of 1-3 feet would be possible along the coast as well as the Neuse and Pamlico river basins. Rainfall totals from Wednesday through Thursday would range from 3″ inland to near 6″ along the Crystal Coast. The potential impacts will shift and change with updated tracks from the NHC. The WITN Weather team will continue to keep you posted as we keep track of this storm. It’s also a good time to take a look at your hurricane plan and supplies even if the threat shifts.
Stay with WITN and WITN.COM as we continue to track Franklin and Idalia throughout the week.