As the brewing storm 'Ophelia' continues its development, meteorologists are anticipating the most significant impacts to occur on Friday and Saturday, with some lingering effects potentially extending into Sunday.
One of the major concerns associated with 'Ophelia' is storm surge flooding. Onshore winds will drive water toward coastal regions, increasing the risk of inundation along parts of the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has provided a forecast of peak inundation, particularly during high tides. Of particular concern are the predawn Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon high tides. While coastal flooding is expected in some areas early on Saturday morning, it's the Saturday afternoon high tide that poses the greatest threat. Regions spanning from southern New Jersey to the Virginia Tidewater could experience moderate to major coastal flooding during this period.
The impact of the storm
In addition to storm surge and coastal flooding, 'Ophelia' will generate dangerous high surf and rip currents extending from northeast Florida to coastal New England. Beachgoers are urged to exercise caution and stay out of the water if red flags indicating hazardous conditions are flying at the beach.
Tropical storm force winds are predicted to reach the areas covered by warnings in North Carolina on Friday, gradually spreading northward along the coast Friday night into Saturday, impacting other warned regions. These strong wind gusts have the potential to topple trees and disrupt power supplies, especially in eastern North Carolina to Delaware. The threat of fallen trees is heightened due to saturated ground conditions resulting from heavy rainfall.
The storm is also expected to bring heavy rainfall as it draws in deep, tropical moisture. Bands of heavy rain will likely form along and east of the storm's track, potentially leading to local flash flooding in areas where these rain bands stall for extended periods.
Rescue operations underway
Residents in the affected regions are urged to stay informed about the latest weather updates and advisories from the National Hurricane Center and local authorities. Preparedness measures, such as securing loose outdoor items, stocking up on essential supplies, and heeding evacuation orders if issued, are essential to ensure safety.
Please note that this report reflects the meteorological perspective on the brewing storm 'Ophelia' and does not necessarily represent the views of our parent company, IBM.