Tropical storm threat for NC coast, turning breeze locally

The latest forecast from FOX Carolina
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 12:33 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:25 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Tropical storm conditions are expected along the NC coast Friday into Saturday. SC coast will see less, but still periods of rain and gusty wind.

Locally we’ll notice the breeze picking up Friday, with a few extra clouds. Highs will be in the mid 70s to low 80s. Similar weather follows on Saturday, then the wind will settle down on Sunday.

Breezy through Saturday
Breezy through Saturday(Fox Carolina)

The latest track takes what will likely be Ophelia into the NC coastline as a strong tropical storm. This will bring water rise from Wilmington to the Outer Banks. Storm surge of 1-3′ possible. Winds will gust to 50-60 mph.

Making landfall in NC as a tropical storm
Making landfall in NC as a tropical storm(Fox Carolina)

While this does not currently mean anything different in terms of impacts in our area, it is a system that we will be watching much more closely over the next few days. Here at home, we will experience increasingly breezy conditions beginning late today through Saturday. Wind gusts as high as 20-30 mph are likely, and could possibly tip up toward tropical storm-force at times. Isolated power outages are a possibility, and loose objects outdoors should be stored or secured. A few isolated showers on the western fringe of the system could reach communities east of Spartanburg overnight Friday, but these would be brief and are not likely to cause significant problems.

Biggest impacts for NC coastline
Biggest impacts for NC coastline(Fox Carolina)

This will be a much bigger issue for along the North and South Carolina coast, as well as a cross the eastern halves of both states. Periods of heavy rain and thunderstorms will push inland as the storm tracks toward the Outer Banks of North Carolina on Friday. Some slight strengthening is possible before the storm makes landfall there on Saturday morning, but it is not currently expected to become a hurricane.

Futuretrack Satellite & Radar, 9:00 PM Friday
Futuretrack Satellite & Radar, 9:00 PM Friday(WHNS)

Onshore winds over 40-50 mph will likely lead to flooding along the coast, along with an increased potential for minor wind damage. If you have plans to head to the coast this weekend, you may want to reconsider. Stay tuned for updates as new information comes in.