WeatherTropical Weather


Tropical Storm Ophelia expected to form off southeast coast

Heavy rain, dangerous storm surge to impact mid-Atlantic states this weekend
Potential Tropical Cyclone 16, 5 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2023.jpg
Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-22 11:17:11-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Tropical Storm Ophelia is expected to form Friday off the southeastern U.S. coast and bring heavy rainfall and dangerous storm surge to the mid-Atlantic states.

WPTV First Alert Weather meteorologist Jennifer Correa said Potential Tropical Cyclone 16, located well offshore of Florida, will have significant impacts on the Outer Banks of North Carolina with storm surge of 2 to 4 feet, as well as heavy rainfall all the way north to New Jersey.

At 11 a.m. Friday, the system is 255 miles east of Charleston, South Carolina, and 200 miles south of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Potential Tropical Cyclone 16, 5 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2023 (1).PNG
Potential Tropical Cyclone 16, 5 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2023.

The system is moving toward the north at 12 mph with winds of 50 mph.        

Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for the following areas:

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

"Localized amounts up to 7 inches of rainfall," Correa said. "It should become a remnant low by later Sunday over parts of Delmarva or New Jersey, if not by Monday."
In South Florida, we could be dealing with some lingering moisture and passing showers from Potential Tropical Cyclone 16.

However, our weekend rain chances remain low at 20% on Friday, 30% on Saturday, and 40% on Sunday.

WPTV First Alert Weather forecast, Sept. 22, 2023.jpg
WPTV First Alert Weather forecast, Sept. 22, 2023.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Hurricane Center | Hurricane Guide

Elsewhere in the tropics, a strong tropical wave Invest 90-L, located a few hundred miles west-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands, is likely to strengthen into a tropical depression or Tropical Storm Philippe over the coming days.

Correa said the system will curve north and stay away from the Caribbean and Florida.

Invest 90-L, 5 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2023 (1).PNG
Invest 90-L, 5 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2023.

"It will become a tropical depression this weekend. Could even strengthen into Tropical Storm Philippe, and then make a turn towards the north, hopefully staying over the open waters of the Atlantic, away from the Lesser Antilles. Looks like that's the agreement with these models," Correa said.