Hermine wallops East Coast with rain

The wind and rain have already downed trees across the Charlotte area.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – After slamming Florida, deadly Hurricane Hermine weakened to a tropical storm Friday but will still focus its fury on the East Coast through the Labor Day weekend.

Some forecasts are showing Hermine (or its remnants) exploding into a monster, hurricane-like storm just off the Delaware and New Jersey coast late Sunday and into Monday, potentially just sitting there and hammering the coast for days.

This could bring levels of destruction to the coast similar to or worse than Sandy.

As of midday Friday, more than 30 million people from Florida to New York were under tropical storm watches and warnings through the weekend. The National Weather Service said heavy rain, flash floods, strong winds and rip currents were expected as Hermine or its remnants move up the coast.

There is some good news and bad news regarding Friday’s forecast for the Charlotte area. The good news: the weekend is still looking good. The bad news: Friday is going to be nasty.

"Most of the Charlotte area will be right along the edge of the storm and most of the rain will be gone by 2 a.m." Panovich said.

In Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties you might not see much rain at all and that's reflected in the latest forecast. In Charlotte, we'll only see an inch to an inch-and-a-half of rain.

Union and Richmond counties could see 2 to 6 inches. If there's any subtle shift in the track that will change.

Even though meteorologists might officially classify the system as "post-tropical" over the weekend, Hermine is expected to remain "a dangerous cyclone through 5 days," according to the hurricane center.

One forecast from the hurricane center shows that every state on the East Coast, all the way from Florida to Maine, could see tropical-storm-force winds over the next few days.

Hermine is expected to produce storm total rainfall accumulations of 5 to 10 inches – with possible isolated maximum amounts of 15 inches – over the southeastern U.S. and portions of the mid-Atlantic. This amount of rain will likely lead to flooding in some areas.

Several days of pounding surf and howling winds will cause beach erosion from the Mid-Atlantic to New England. Some forecast models show the storm sitting nearly stationary off the New Jersey coast for several days, potentially setting up a "devastating" surge for coastal areas, according to WeatherBell meteorologist Ryan Maue.

"Gusts between 60 and 75 mph are possible from the central New Jersey coast to the southern tip of Delmarva," according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Dave Dombek.
A storm surge watch is in effect from Virginia Beach to Long Island.
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, Hawaii was bracing for its second hurricane in less than a week, as Hurricane Lester was threatening the Aloha State with high wind and heavy rain over the weekend.

A hurricane watch was posted for much of the state. As of early Friday, the 110-mph hurricane was still 480 miles from Hilo, Hawaii, but was moving to the west-northwest at 14 mph, according to the Central Pacific Hurricane Center.

Hermine was the first hurricane to strike Florida in 11 years, leaving widespread damage in its wake. It was also the first hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico since Ingrid in 2013.

The National Hurricane Center said Hermine made landfall at 1:30 a.m. as a Category 1 storm with 80 mph winds along the Florida coast, just east of St. Marks.

Hermine was the fourth hurricane of the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season.

Stay with WCNC.com and download the WCNC app for the latest changes to the forecast as the storm moves through the Carolinas.

Copyright 2016 WCNC


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