A lot of people are commenting that Florence is looking a lot like Hurricane Fran, which devastated North Carolina in September of 1996.
While there are some similarities, there are quite a few differences too.
First - what they have in common:
1. This one is obvious - they are both the "F" storm. What is it about that letter anyway-Fran, Floyd, and now Florence!
2. Florence, at first glance, may take the same path into North Carolina as Fran did. Fran made landfall on the Cape Fear coast and moved into the Triangle with flooding rains and damaging winds. Florence could make landfall in the same area.
But that's where the similarities end. Now for their differences:
1. Fran approached the state from the south, while Florence is forecast to approach from the southeast. Florence gained latitude much sooner than Fran, and its track westward across the Atlantic at that high a latitude is very unusual. Fran's path towards the state was not unusual at all.
2. Fran was a Category 3 hurricane at landfall, with winds of 115 mph. Florence is forecast to be a Category 4 and have winds of 140 mph at landfall, much worse than Fran potentially.
3) Fran made landfall in the evening and moved through the Triangle overnight. By morning, the weakening storm was in Virginia. Florence, unfortunately, is forecast to slow to a crawl or even stall for a few days, which could lead to life-threatening flash flooding. Fran caused some flash flooding and river flooding, but Florence could be much worse.
In reality, all hurricanes come with the same hazards - wind, rain, storm surge - but they're all different, too.