TUCSON, Ariz. — Hurricane Florence was upgraded from a Category 3 to a Category 4 hurricane on Monday, prompting mandatory evacuations of the South Carolina coastline and parts of North Carolina.
The potentially life-threatening storm is on track to make landfall on the East Coast late Thursday or Friday.
University of Arizona hurricane experts Xubin Zeng and Thomas Galarneau are available to comment on the hurricane.
The UA's hurricane forecasting model, co-developed by Zeng, has proven to be extremely accurate over the last four years. This year's model predicted a below-average number of hurricanes for the 2018 season, which runs through Nov. 30. Researchers predicted four hurricanes – two of which will be major hurricanes, defined as those reaching Category 3, 4 or 5. Hurricane Florence is the first major Atlantic hurricane this year.
Zeng is director of the UA's Climate Dynamics and Hydrometeorology Center, a professor of atmospheric sciences and the Agnes N. Haury Endowed Chair in Environment in the UA Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences. Galarneau is an assistant professor in the UA's Department of Hydrology and Atmospheric Sciences.