LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - As of the 4 p.m. update we now have four named storms in the Atlantic: Florence, Helene, Isaac, and Joyce. We are also monitoring an area for development in the Western Gulf.
Hurricane Florence is currently located 385 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina, and is moving NW at 16 mph. With maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, Florence is a Category 3 storm capable of producing devastating effects to the Carolinas.
With an anticipated collapse of steering flow, this storm is expected to slow down considerably after landfall and make a slight turn to the west. This will make the storm move slower and dump more rainfall right now with forecasts predicting up to 20 inches of rain. This total does not include the water pushed inland due to storm surge.
Key takeaways from impacts are: Storm surge, flash flooding likely, and tropical storm force winds are expected to spread inland.
Hurricane Helene is currently located 910 miles west/northwest of the Cape Verde Islands. With maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, Helene is a Category 1 hurricane headed out into the Atlantic. The current forecast track for Helene has this storm continuing north out into the open Atlantic.
Tropical Storm Isaac is currently located 295 miles east of Martinique and is moving west at 20 mph with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. This storm has prompted tropical storm warnings for portions of the Lesser Antilles.
The storm is currently forecast to continue on a westerly track into the Caribbean. Once there, wind shear has started decreasing on the eastern side of the Caribbean, which means the storm will likely keep it together longer than expected.
Ultimately the wind shear is expected to keep the storm from developing any further. Right now, it is too far out to determine impacts to the Gulf Coast.
Recently formed Subtropical Storm Joyce is located 870 miles west/southwest of the Azores with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. This storm is anticipated to transition to a tropical storm by Thursday. The difference between subtropical and tropical is in a subtropical storm the maximum winds are not close to the center whereas in a tropical storm the strongest winds are located closest to the center.
We are also monitoring Invest 95L for development in the Western Gulf. Right now the system is still very disorganized, but conditions are favorable for development. The National Hurricane Center anticipates development into a tropical depression by Thursday. Right now models have the system continuing on a west/northwest track into Southern Texas keeping the storms well away from Southwest Louisiana.