Ophelia is now affecting North Carolina

Article first published: Saturday, Sep. 23, 2023, 5 a.m. ET

Article last updated: Saturday, Sep. 23, 2023, 8 a.m. ET

On Saturday at 8 am, the National Hurricane Center issued an advisory stating that Ophelia is now affecting North Carolina

Tropical Storm Ophelia is 40 miles northwest of Cape Lookout North Carolina and 95 miles northeast of Cape Fear North Carolina, with maximum sustained wind of 65 mph. It’s moving 13 mph to the north.

"... the center of Ophelia will move across eastern North Carolina this morning, and then move into southeastern Virginia, and the Delmarva Peninsula by the end of today into and Sunday." meteorologists state. "Further weakening is expected through the rest of the weekend, and Ophelia is likely to become a post-tropical cyclone tonight or Sunday morning."


Yesterday, the weather system gained sufficient intensity to be named Ophelia when the potential tropical cyclone upgraded to a tropical storm with winds of 65 mph.

Forecasters announced a hurricane watch for portions of eastern North Carolina.


The Hurricane Watch north of Surf City, North Carolina to Ocracoke Inlet has been discontinued.


A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:

- Bogue Inlet, North Carolina to Chincoteague, Virginia

- Chesapeake Bay south of Colonial Beach, Virginia

- Neuse and Pamlico Rivers

- Portions of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for:

- Surf City, North Carolina to Bogue Inlet, North Carolina

- Remainder of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:

- Cape Fear, North Carolina to Fenwick Island, Delaware

- Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds

- Tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island

- Chesapeake Bay south of North Beach

A Storm Surge Warning means there is a danger of life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, during the next 36 hours in the indicated locations. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov. This is a life-threatening situation. Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Promptly follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area.

A Storm Surge Watch means there is a possibility of life- threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coastline, in the indicated locations during the next 48 hours. For a depiction of areas at risk, please see the National Weather Service Storm Surge Watch/Warning Graphic, available at hurricanes.gov.


STORM SURGE: The combination of a dangerous storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water could reach the following heights above ground somewhere in the indicated areas if the peak surge occurs at the time of high tide...

Neuse and Bay Rivers...3-5 ft Pamlico and Pungo Rivers...3-5 ft Chesapeake Bay south of Colonial Beach...2-4 ft Surf City, NC to Chincoteague, VA...2-4 ft Albemarle Sound...2-4 ft South Santee River, SC to Surf City, NC...1-3 ft Chincoteague, VA to Manasquan Inlet, NJ...1-3 ft Upper Chesapeake Bay...1-3 ft Delaware Bay...1-3 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by dangerous waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over short distances.

WIND: Tropical storm conditions are affecting portions of the coast of North Carolina and southeastern Virginia within the warning area and will continue spreading northward today.

RAINFALL: Ophelia is expected to produce the following rainfall:

Across portions of eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia...3 to 5 inches with isolated higher totals around 8 inches into Sunday morning.

Across the remaining portions of the Mid Atlantic...2 to 4 inches tonight through Sunday.

Across southern New York through southern New England...1 to 3 inches Saturday into Monday.

This rainfall may produce locally considerable flash, urban, and small stream flooding impacts, particularly across the Mid Atlantic region from North Carolina to New Jersey. Isolated river flooding is possible in areas of heavier rainfall.

SURF: Swells generated by Ophelia will affect much of the east coast of the United States through this weekend. These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions.

TORNADOES: A tornado or two may occur today over parts of the Mid-Atlantic Coast.

Source: National Hurricane Center

This article was generated by the Sun Herald Bot, artificial intelligence software that analyzes information from the National Hurricane Center and applies it to templates created by journalists in the newsroom. We are experimenting with this and other new ways of providing more useful content to our readers and subscribers. You can report errors or bugs to mcclatchybot@mcclatchy.com. Full hurricane coverage at sunherald.com/news/weather-news/