Tropical Storm Ophelia formed as it headed towards the coast of North Carolina Friday afternoon, with stormy weather spreading over portions of the state. Meanwhile, a second system is likely to form in the Atlantic, forecasters said.
Ophelia is expected to make landfall later in the day.
As of 2 p.m. Friday, the storm was located about 150 southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and 185 miles south of Cape Hatteras. It is moving north-northwest at 12 mph with maximum sustained winds near 60 mph and higher gusts. Tropical-storm-force winds extend out 275 miles.
Ophelia is expected to approach the coast of North Carolina Friday night, then move across the state as well as Virginia on Saturday and Sunday.
The threat of tornadoes exists along portions of the Mid-Atlantic coast, and areas of North Carolina and southeast Virginia could see 3 to 5 inches of rain with some areas receiving 7 inches.
Watches and warnings have been issued from South Carolina up through the Washington, D.C., area.
Despite moving away from Florida’s east coast to the north, the storm has been causing heavy rainfall and some flooding this week in South Florida. Swells from Ophelia will affect a large part of the U.S. east coast over the weekend, forecasters said.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for Cape Fear, North Carolina to Fenwick Island, Delaware as well as Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds, tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island and Chesapeake Bay south of North Beach.
A storm surge warning is in effect from Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina to Chincoteague, Virginia as well as Chesapeake Bay south of Colonial Beach, Virginia,, the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers, and portions of Pamlico and Albemarle sounds. Some areas could 3-5 feet higher than normal.
A tropical storm warning is in effect for portions of North Carolina and Virginia. Storm surge watches are in effect from Surf City to Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina.
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