Preparedness

Hurricane Florence Generates 83-Foot Waves in the Atlantic Ocean as It Heads Toward East Coast

Wave heights typically don't climb much higher than 10-20 feet under normal conditions in the Atlantic Ocean.

by Kristin LaFratta, MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. / September 13, 2018
Heavy surf crashes the dunes at high tide in Nags Head, N.C., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 as Hurricane Florence approaches the east coast. AP/Gerry Broome

(TNS) - Hurricane Florence is rapidly making its way toward the East Coast, bringing with it towering waves that measure as high as 83 feet.

The National Hurricane Center's Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch reports that wave heights of 83 feet were measured under the northeast quadrant of Hurricane Florence as it spiraled out in the Atlantic, moving west toward the Carolinas.

"These enormous waves are produced by being trapped along with very strong winds moving in the same direction the storm's motion," the branch wrote on Twitter.

Wave heights typically don't climb much higher than 10-20 feet under normal conditions in the Atlantic Ocean.

As Twitter exploded with news of such an enormous wave, a video of Brazilian surfer Rodrigo Koxa began to circulate. In November 2017, Koxa rode an 80-foot wave off of Portugal to break the world record for highest wave ever surfed.

A 5 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center announced that storm surge warnings and hurricane warnings are in effect along the coastlines of North and South Carolina, as life-threatening waves barrel toward the shores.

"Catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are likely" in the areas of the Carolinas and southern-central Appalachians throughout the next week, the Hurricane Center warns.

Florence is most likely to strike the coastlines Thursday afternoon or evening. it will stretch further inland throughout the day on Friday. Parts of eastern North Carolina and South Carolina could see up to 20 inches of rain, in addition to storm surge.

Bermuda, parts of the Bahamas and the northeast U.S. coast may also feel some effects from Hurricane Florence.

Massachusetts will not feel too much of an impact from the chaotic storm down south, according to the National Weather Service: "The only impacts in southern New England from Hurricane Florence will be high surf and dangerous rip currents especially on the south coast through Friday."

———

©2018 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass.

Visit MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. at www.masslive.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.