The first time any part of NC was included in the "Cone of Uncertainty" was on October 3rd, a full 3 days before any watch or warning went up for the coastline. It would be Saturday, October 8th before the rain, wind and surge from Matthew impacted the coastline and interior North Carolina.
That's almost 5 days of lead time. Now I'll waiver a little and note that on October 6th at the 5pm advisory, North Carolina was completely removed from the cone, but the cone does not matter. Impacts can reach outside of the cone and certainly do, as we saw with Matthew. The cone is for the CENTER of the storm, not the impacts! I'm by no means saying the forecast was perfect, it was not, but there was advanced notice.
Click on the image for a link to the National Hurricane Center Graphics Archive
October 7-8th: Full Impact
NC saw Matthew's full impact. An impact that was record breaking in many locations. Rainfall amounts in parts of the state were over 15". That's more rain than we typically see in an entire month! Parts of NC saw that in one day.
Winds gusted to 84 mph on out Outer Banks and as high as 60 mph 100 miles inland in Cumberland, Hoke and Robeson Counties. Wind Advisories were issued for the Charlotte Metro region and gusty winds of 30-40 mph impacted the mountains and Triad regions.
Highest Wind Gust: 84 mph at 4:20am in Ocracoke (measured at a wxflow marine station)
Highest Precipitation Total: 17" in Cumberland County, NC
Check out some of the numbers statewide below. These maps were put together by the NWS in Raleigh.
October 9th-12th: The Rivers Rise
Rain has to go somewhere, and it went into our rivers, creeks and streams. Numerous rivers exceed their capacities and rose to major or record flood stage. The Neuse River in Kinston exceeded the record flood in many spots, including Smithfield, Goldsboro and Kinston. In total, 9 rivers reached record flood stage resulting in catastrophic flooding.
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