Potential Tropical Cyclone Spins Toward US Coast: Weather Watch

By Brian K. Sullivan | September 22, 2023

Potential tropical cyclone 16 is getting organized off the coast of Florida and South Carolina and will likely be named Ophelia later Friday, the US National Hurricane Center said.

The storm’s winds are forecast to reach 60 miles per hour, and it’s likely to come ashore in North Carolina Saturday afternoon and bring heavy rain to Washington, DC.

The storm will then track across eastern North Carolina through Virginia and Maryland reaching southern New Jersey as a tropical depression by Monday. Tropical storm and storm surge warnings are up along large parts of the Mid-Atlantic coast. A three-to-four-foot surge is forecast along the coastline from the Carolinas to Delaware, and water could rise to five feet near the Pamlico and Pungo Rivers in North Carolina.

In addition to the storm surge, a wide area could get as much as five inches of rain, with isolated spots getting seven inches. A coastal flood watch has been posted for parts of the lower Potomac River, including Washington, where it will rain through the weekend.

Elsewhere, Atlantic storm Nigel is falling apart south of Iceland and Pacific storm Kenneth is expected to collapse later Friday.

In other weather news:

While Louisiana often conjures images of swampy bayous and thick humid air, it currently leads the US in drought, a condition that will likely last until El NiƱo starts to shift much needed rains across the southern half of the country in coming months. Louisiana has 99.9% of its land in drought, according to the US Drought Monitor. The US South and Midwest are both parched by drought after a summer of heat waves that taxed electric grids and crops, the monitor said.

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