According to George Mathews, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Morristown, while the area will get quite a bit of rain, the hurricane will lose a lot of steam before making it to the Tri-Cities.
“We’re talking like an inch or two in the Johnson City area,” said Mathews.
The mountains around the North Carolina/Tennessee border will take the brunt of the rain and force, giving the Tri-Cities and Johnson City area a break. Weekend plans may not need to be canceled yet.
“It’s still a little bit up in the air as to how long it kind of meanders near the coast there before it picks up and gets brought to our area,” said Mathews.
The storm will most likely come near or pass through the area late Saturday evening into Sunday and lingering into Monday.
The chance of precipitation isn’t expected to rise until Sunday. There is only a 20 percent chance of showers and storms Friday; on Saturday that chance grows slightly to 30 percent. But rain will take over the forecast on Sunday with a 70 percent chance as Florence’s effects flow through the area.
While Florence is expected to hit the coast pretty hard, because of the nature of hurricanes, it loses its steam once it moves onto land.
“It’s going to be weakening that whole time as far as winds and rain and everything else, so impact might not be too bad in our area,” said Mathews.
Despite the rain, the area will not see hurricane-speed winds or a drop in temperature at all. In fact, the highs for the weekend are 87 degrees on Friday, 80 degrees on Saturday and 78 degrees on Sunday.
However, Mathews warns that with soaking rains, the wind does not need to be very strong to knock over a tree with shallow roots in the saturated soil.
During weather events like this, flooding is always a possibility. The American Red Cross said Thursday that the organization is preparing relief efforts in many states across the East Coast for evacuees and those who may be effected by flooding, including Tennessee.
Red Cross shelters nearby include:
Johnson City: Crossroads Christian Church, 1300 Suncrest Drive, Gray, TN 37615.
Knoxville: Central Baptist of Bearden, 6300 Deane Hill Dr, Knoxville, TN 37919.
Chattanooga: Brainerd Recreation Center, 7745 E. Brainerd Road, Chattanooga TN 37421.
To help the American Red Cross help those affected by Florence, donations can be made at redcross.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Additional information on shelter locations can be found at redcross.org/shelters.
The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency also has a list of hurricane resources with everything from shelters to other places to stay and ways to prepare for hurricanes or donate to help relief efforts on their website at www.tn.gov/tema/get-involved/hurricane-florence-relief.html.