Updated at 12:22 p.m.

RALEIGH — Hurricane Florence continued to track south but the forecast for central North Carolina remains uncertain. 

The National Weather Service said at a briefing at 11:30 a.m. today that Guilford County residents should anticipate damaging winds, flash flooding and river flooding beginning late Thursday afternoon. 

At 11 a.m. today, Hurricane Florence was sitting 485 miles southeast of Wilmington. It's moving at 15 mph with maximum wind speeds of 130 mph, which makes it a Category 3 storm. 

Forecasters showed Greensboro straddling the line between seeing rain totals between 4 to 6 inches and between 6 to 10 inches. That rainfall is expected to bring "major to extreme flooding" to central North Carolina. 

Totals could continue to trend upward depending on where Hurricane Florence eventually makes landfall. 

Power outages remain a significant threat to central North Carolina. 

The National Weather Service plans to do another update at 5:30 p.m.


RALEIGH — The path of Hurricane Florence changed overnight softening the impact Guilford County will see from the Category 4 storm. 

James Morrow, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Raleigh, said forecasts locally for both rain totals and wind gusts have lessened. 

"Things have changed overnight," Morrow said. "The hurricane is weaker than it was at 5 p.m. yesterday but it is still a strong Category 4 storm."

The storm's predicted impact caused Guilford County and Greensboro to declare a state of emergency beginning at noon today. 

Initial forecasts showed Hurricane Florence tracking straight through Raleigh toward Winston-Salem and stalling over the Piedmont Triad. Now the storm is expected to hug the North Carolina-South Carolina border and then track up the Appalachian Mountains. 

Because of the new track of the storm, Morrow said that rain totals have fallen from 8 to 15 inches to 4 to 8 inches. Forecasters also predicted wind gusts up to 80 mph, but under the new track, Guilford County's top wind gusts are expected to be around 40 mph. 

"Those winds can still cause a lot of damage," Morrow said. "Especially with the already wet ground and the rainfall we're expecting."

The rain from Florence is now expected around Saturday and last into early next week. 

Morrow said Greensboro will see pop-up thunderstorms and rain showers over the next few days, but those storms are not connected to the hurricane. Instead they're typical summer showers caused by the hot and humid weather. 

There's a couple things to keep in mind with Hurricane Florence: namely that the storm's path remains uncertain. 

Hurricane Florence is expected to make landfall between Wilmington and Charleston, S.C., but the exact location is unclear. Forecasters also expect the storm to stall right before reaching land. 

There is a possibility the storm will track back toward Raleigh and Winston-Salem, but meteorologists believe if the path changes it is more likely to take a southern route. 

"Even though the track changed, people need to have their preparations done by Thursday evening," Morrow said. "That's when conditions will begin to deteriorate."

Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily morning newsletter.

Contact Danielle Battaglia at 336-373-4476 and follow @dbattagliaNR on Twitter.​

Recommended for you