Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Expand chart
Data: NOAA HURDAT2, National Hurricane Center; Map: Harry Stevens/Axios

Hurricane Florence is a highly unusual storm, not just because of its intensity and size, but also the journey it's taking toward the Carolina coastline.

The big picture: As this historical track map shows, few other major hurricanes have hit North Carolina — and none has followed as bizarre a path as Florence is expected to take.

The details: The storm is approaching the coast at a 90-degree angle, moving southeast to northwest, which is unusual. And because of a collapse in the atmospheric steering currents, Florence is going to be set adrift. It may slowly spin southwest, parallel to the North Carolina and South Carolina coasts. Eventually, it may visit Georgia, too.

The implications: This track will maximize the storm surge flooding along the North Carolina coast, with the National Hurricane Center projecting a maximum surge of 9 to 13 feet between Cape Fear and Cape Lookout, N.C.

  • Parts of South Carolina will first see strong offshore winds as the center of the storm moves to the north.
  • Then, perhaps suddenly, the flow will turn onshore, with floodwaters rushing in — trapping anyone who had gone near the coast to see the tide pushed out to sea in the storm's early stages.
  • The track will also ensure that this hurricane dumps potentially "catastrophic" amounts of rain on inland areas, with upwards of 3 feet forecast to fall.

The bottom line: Every hurricane presents its own hazards. Few, however, move as strangely as Florence will, while at the same time being as large and powerful. This presents communication challenges in convincing people to leave threatened areas, since they may not be used to dealing with a nearly stalled-out hurricane or one that backslides from northeast to southwest.

Go deeper

Axios-Ipsos poll: Trust in federal coronavirus response surges

Data: Axios/Ipsos survey; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Trust surged in the federal government since President Biden's inauguration when it comes to COVID-19 — but that's almost entirely because of Democrats gaining confidence, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: Americans reported the biggest improvement in their mental and emotional health since our survey began last March, and the highest trust levels since April about the federal government providing them accurate virus information and looking out for their best interests.

7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

McConnell drops filibuster demand, paving way for power-sharing deal

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (R) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell attend a joint session of Congress. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has abandoned his demand that Democrats state, in writing, that they would not abandon the legislative filibuster.

Between the lines: McConnell was never going to agree to a 50-50 power sharing deal without putting up a fight over keeping the 60-vote threshold. But the minority leader ultimately caved after it became clear that delaying the organizing resolution was no longer feasible.

8 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Google won't donate to members of Congress who voted against election results

Sen. Ted Cruz led the group of Republicans who opposed certifying the results. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Google will not make contributions from its political action committee this cycle to any member of Congress who voted against certifying the results of the presidential election, following the deadly Capitol riot.

Why it matters: Several major businesses paused or pulled political donations following the events of Jan. 6, when pro-Trump rioters, riled up by former President Trump, stormed the Capitol on the day it was to certify the election results.