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Midwest to Stay Dry While Carolinas Brace for Hurricane Florence

After weeks of rain and flooding, the Midwest is heading for a dry stretch over the next 10 days. 

A big dome of high pressure should keep most, if not all, of the Midwest dry through the weekend, according to AccuWeather senior meteorologist Rob Miller. Temperatures will linger in the 80s in most areas but could reach the 90s in some spots.

Other parts of the country won’t have the same fortune with Hurricane Florence set to hit the southeast region of the U.S. starting on Thursday. Miller said the Midwest could feel some effects from the Category 4 hurricane.

“Florence is the big weather story here in the U.S., and it’s actually going to indirectly impact the Midwest by keeping a frontal boundary at bay later this week,” says Miller, noting this is what will keep the Midwest mostly dry.

Once Florence weakens, it’ll move to the Northeast states, which could cause some spotty showers in the northern parts of the Great Lakes.

“Overall, during the next week to 10 days or so, it’ll be pretty quiet and dry in the Midwest,” Miller says.

Hurricane Florence

The flooding in North Carolina has the potential to be “historic,” says Miller.

Florence sits as a Category 2 hurricane with winds up to 105 mph. Once it reaches land, Florence is expected to slow down in speed, which will help decrease wind damage. Due to the speed slowing down, the hurricane will linger above North Carolina, increasing the total precipitation and flood levels. 

“This will likely be the storm of a lifetime for portions of the Carolina coast,” the National Weather Service in Wilmington, North Carolina, said Tuesday.

Farmers in North Carolina have already taken action in preparation. Some are harvesting as quickly as possible; others are lowering levels of liquid manure in outdoor storage pits. 

Last week, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency and waived transportation rules to help farmers harvest and transport crops more quickly.

“During harvest, time is of the essence,” Cooper said in a press release. “Action today can avoid losses due to Florence.”

Looking ahead to October

The early part of October is expected to be cooler than normal, especially for the northwest part of the Midwest, according to Miller. Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin could see some frost early in the month. 

As October continues, temperatures should be back to average for the time of year, hovering around the 50s and lower 60s. 

“As we get toward the middle and the latter part of the month, we’ll start seeing some warming returning, especially in the West,” explains Miller. “It might stay on the cooler side as we go into the eastern parts of the Belt. After the coolness of the first week or two, the north and west parts of the Midwest will warm up. The south and east will probably rebound back toward near normal.”

What about rainfall in October?

“We’re looking pretty close to normal across northern areas,” Miller says. “Most of the Midwest is going to stay near or below normal precipitation.”

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