While Hurricane Florence didn't pack as big a punch as expected when it made landfall, the way it struck the Carolinas could still bring significant economic damage.
On Friday, JPMorgan said Florence may hammer the region economically, but is unlikely to affect the vast U.S. economy as a whole. "We believe that the effects of the storm could be significant for the impacted regions, but likely will be very small in the quarterly GDP data for the $20 trillion US economy," the bank said, adding that September's jobs report could see some modest "distortions" based on Florence.
"It remains to be seen just how widespread Florence's damage will be, but North and South Carolina's combined output is larger than that of the Houston metro area, which was impacted by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, but less than half of that of the New York metro area, which was hit by Hurricane Sandy in 2012," the bank wrote.
However, Dan Leonard, The Weather Company's senior meteorologist, told CNBC that Florence's unique trajectory difficult to predict the resulting damage. "It came in from the east. Typically storms move from south to north," Leonard told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.
While churning in the Atlantic towards shore this week, Hurricane Florence was a Category 4 storm, but when it made landfall Friday in North Carolina, it was downgraded to a Category 1.
"This particular storm came in straight from the east which makes it more damaging as far as storm surge goes, because it came in perpendicular to the coast, so all the wind and all the water was forced in from the due east," he added. "That's why you had more intense damage than you'd normally get from a typical Category 1 land falling hurricane."
According to the National Hurricane Center, while a Category 4 has wind speeds of 130 to 156 miles per hour, Category 1 has winds between 74 and 95 mph. Early Friday evening, Florence became a tropical storm—but still left thousands without power and 7 dead.