09-22-2023, 2:58 PM

Storm Ophelia forms off East Coast, bringing rain and wind

The National Hurricane Center said Tropical Storm Ophelia formed off the Atlantic coast early Friday afternoon and will bring torrential rain, storm surges, and severe gusts to the East Coast this weekend.

Ophelia is approaching the mid-Atlantic region, affecting North Carolina and Virginia most.

The Miami-based center reported 60 mph sustained winds and 12 mph movement for Ophelia at 2 p.m. ET. Storm center 150 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina. It was expected to land Saturday early.

By midday Friday, rain was heading inland through North Carolina, with forecasters predicting 7 inches in eastern North Carolina and southeast Virginia. The hurricane center warned of 3–5-foot storm surges in North Carolina.

Coastal North Carolina and Virginia schools will dismiss students early Friday and cancel afterschool and weekend activities.

Thursday's Virginia Department of Emergency Management social media post said officials are working with local weather service offices to monitor the system off the coast.

Duck, North Carolina to Chincoteague, Virginia, encompassing Chesapeake Bay south of Windmill Point, the Neuse River, Pamlico River, and Pamlico Sound, are under storm surge advisories. Surf City to Duck, North Carolina, Chesapeake Bay north of Windmill Point to Smith Point, the Tidal Potomac south of Colonial Beach and Albemarle, and Pamlico Sound are under storm surge watches.

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