Tropical Storm Warning Puts Mid-Atlantic Coast Under Threat of Winds and Flooding

Tropical storm force winds, coastal flooding, and rip currents are expected to affect parts of North Carolina, Virginia, and New Jersey through the weekend as a disturbance in the Atlantic approaches the coast Friday night.

On Thursday, the National Hurricane Center issued a tropical storm warning for the area from Cape Fear, North Carolina, through Fenwick Island, Delaware. The storm warning covers the Albemarle, Pamlico, Tidal, Potomac, and Chesapeake Sounds in North Carolina, as well as areas north of Wilmington, North Carolina, and south of the state line. The storm surge watch is in effect for the area north of Wilmington, South Carolina, and east of the state line, including Tidal, Tidal, and Potomac rivers in Virginia.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said that the storm’s center is expected to make landfall in the warning area of North Carolina Friday night into Saturday. Rainfall amounts are expected to be between 3-5 inches across the mid-Atlantic and southern New England from late Friday to Sunday, with some areas expecting up to 7 inches.

The storm’s storm surge could cause 2-4 feet of flooding in the lower chesapeake Bay, and 1-3 feet of flooding farther up the bay, according to forecasters. Parts of the outermost barrier islands could see 3-5 feet of flooding, with the storm surge likely to peak along with high tides. The storm is expected to move northwest-northwest later Friday.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has predicted that a few tornadoes may be possible in the Mid-Atlantic states on Friday and Saturday. Even if the storm does not become a hurricane, the center has predicted that dangerous tropical storm conditions are likely for parts of the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic coastlines.

If the storm is strong enough to become a hurricane, it is expected to be known as Ophelia. On Thursday, Gov. Cooper and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety (DPS) warned residents to be ready for tropical weather, warning of potential for tree damage, power outage and flooding. They also urged people to stay informed of the latest weather forecast.