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A Staff Report 

As the sun sets on Friday, it marks the end of summer, but it won’t be a dry sendoff for many along the East Coast. The National Weather Service of Wilmington has issued a weather update that forecasts the arrival of Potential Tropical Cyclone 16, which is expected to intensify into Tropical Storm Ophelia by Friday afternoon, bringing with it heavy rainfall and gusty winds. Here are the key points from the latest briefing:

1. Tropical Transformation: The area of low pressure is poised to transform into a tropical storm as it approaches the North Carolina coast. This transformation is anticipated to occur today and continue through tonight.

2. Impacts and Improvement: Residents in the affected regions should brace themselves for heavy rainfall and gusty winds developing today and persisting into tonight. However, there is a silver lining as conditions are expected to gradually improve on Saturday as the storm moves away from the area.

3. Stay Informed: The National Weather Service plans to release the next PDF briefing update at around 2:30 PM today, ensuring that residents and authorities have access to the latest information.

The dry weather that many enjoyed won’t last long, as ominous clouds from Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 have already begun to move in. The forecast indicates that Tropical Storm Ophelia is set to make its debut on Friday afternoon, with a steady north-northwestward pace of 12 mph. According to the National Hurricane Center, this trajectory will persist for the next day or so, followed by a slight shift northward.

Tropical Storm Ophelia’s path is projected to bring it perilously close to the coast of North Carolina on Friday night. It will then continue its journey across eastern North Carolina, southeastern Virginia, and the Delmarva Peninsula throughout the weekend. Ophelia currently boasts maximum sustained winds of around 60 mph with occasional higher gusts. There is even the possibility of slight strengthening before it reaches the North Carolina coast.

As the storm approaches, several watches and warnings have been issued:

Storm Surge Warning:

  • Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina to Chincoteague, Virginia
  • Chesapeake Bay south of Colonial Beach, Virginia
  • Neuse and Pamlico Rivers
  • Portions of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

Tropical Storm Warning:

  • Cape Fear, North Carolina, to Fenwick Island, Delaware
  • Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds
  • Tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island
  • Chesapeake Bay, south of North Beach

Storm Surge Watch:

  • Surf City, North Carolina to Beaufort Inlet, North Carolina
  • Remainder of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds

Residents in these areas are advised to stay vigilant, heed warnings from local authorities, and make necessary preparations for the arrival of Tropical Storm Ophelia. While summer may be bidding adieu with a wet and windy sendoff, staying informed and taking precautions can help ensure safety during this weather event.

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