Hurricane Florence is moving relentlessly toward the Southeastern U.S. It's a large, powerful cyclone that will likely bring storm surge and high winds to coastal communities.
But climate scientists say one of the biggest threats posed by Florence is rain.
"Freshwater flooding poses the greatest risk to life," explains James Kossin, an atmospheric scientist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Wisconsin, Madison. And Florence could cause extensive freshwater flooding for two reasons.
First, Florence is moving slowly and could all but stop when it reaches land.
"The storm could be over North Carolina and traveling incredibly slowly — on the order of just a few miles per hour," explains Kossin, who says an official from the city of Charlotte, N.C., contacted him about rainfall projections for that city.