(NEW YORK) — Tropical storm warnings have been issued for four states from North Carolina to Maryland ahead of a system that’s forecast to develop into Tropical Storm Ophelia.
This storm system is not a tropical storm yet. It’s forecast to strengthen into Tropical Storm Ophelia on Friday or Friday night as the storm closes in on the North Carolina coast.
Friday morning, the storm system is developing off the southeast U.S. coast and is forecast to bring strong winds, heavy rain, flash flooding and coastal flooding from Carolinas all the way to southern New England.
The rain, tropical storm-force winds and storm surge will reach parts of the Carolinas and the Mid-Atlantic coast late Friday into Saturday.
The storm is forecast to make landfall as a tropical storm along the North Carolina coast Saturday morning with winds near 60 mph and higher gusts.
The tropical storm warning covers cities including Wilmington, North Carolina; Norfolk, Virginia; and Ocean City, Maryland. Storm surge warnings have also been issued for parts of the North Carolina and southeastern Virginia coasts.
The heaviest rain — up to 6 inches — is possible in eastern North Carolina and Virginia. Coastal flooding is possible.
By Saturday morning, the heavy rain will be pushing north through the Interstate 95 corridor, hitting Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia to New York City.
Around 3 inches of rain is possible in coastal areas from North Carolina to New Jersey.
The highest storm surge will be in North Carolina where water could rise up to 5 feet. Storm surge of 1 to 3 feet is possible all the way to the Jersey Shore.
Up to 7 inches is possible in North Carolina and up to 4 inches is possible all the way through Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City and into southern New England. This heavy rain could cause flash flooding for urban areas along the Interstate 95 corridor.
The rain and gusty winds will persist throughout Saturday and then likely weaken by the evening. But the clouds and showers are forecast to stick around for parts of the Northeast on Sunday as the storm slowly leaves the region.
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