Update at 8:47 p.m. Friday: Conditions are expected to continue to deteriorate overnight with the greatest impacts expected Saturday morning.
Tropical-storm-force winds will persist until late Saturday night. The easterly wind flow is expected to peak sometime in the late afternoon on Saturday, and in the evening, the storm is expected to move north with the wind shifting to the south and southwest.
As the shift occurs, wind speed will also drop, which could lead to a quick return of sound water that was pushed west.
Should this occur, the potential for soundside flooding impacts will increase.
A drive around Ocracoke village Friday evening before dark showed puddles of water in locations typically seen in storms.
Update as of 3 p.m. Friday: The National Weather Service has upgraded PTS 16 to Tropical Storm Ophelia. Expected impacts, including storm surge, wind, heavy rain, and tornadoes have not changed. The track (see below) also has not changed.
Storm surge alerts have been issued for the area.
Update As of 7 a.m. Friday: all ferry services to and from Ocracoke are suspended due to the weather.
From our news services
A tropical storm warning and storm surge watch has been issued for all of Hyde County which has issued a state of emergency that will go into effect at 5 p.m. today (Sept. 21), in advance of tropical storm conditions.
A high surf advisory is also in effect, according to a press release.
Hyde County offices and all solid waste convenience sites will be closed on Friday due to predicted storm conditions.
All sound class ferries have been canceled for Friday. Check NCDOT Ferry Division’s press releases for further information on ferry routes.
A low-pressure system developing off the coast will affect our area tomorrow through Saturday.
This system, Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen, could become Tropical Storm Ophelia. We can expect tropical storm-force winds (39-73mph), heavy rain, dangerous surf, and storm surge.
Storm prediction’s key points:
Storm surge inundation around 2 to 4 feet above ground is possible.
Winds that should peak at 45 to 55 mph with gusts up to 70 mph are expected to begin on Friday and continue through Saturday afternoon.
Widespread rainfall of 2 to 4 inches, with locally higher amounts, could result in flash flooding issues, especially around urban and poor drainage areas.
A few tornadoes could bring locally enhanced damage, mainly across the Outer and Inner Banks and Down East Carteret County.
Well offshore, Hurricane Nigel is expected to contribute to life-threatening surf conditions with rip currents and dangerous marine conditions continue through the weekend.
Travel on N.C. Highway 12 may be impacted by ocean overwash at vulnerable locations, especially during high tide.
Citizens and visitors should begin preparations now to protect property that is susceptible to wind and flooding. Residents and visitors should use caution when visiting Hyde County beaches and to stay out of the ocean.
Hyde County Emergency Services will continue to monitor the forecast and issue advisories as appropriate. For the most current and official information please visit the National Hurricane Center website at https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/ and tune in to your local news.
By Sunday morning, the storm will have left the Outer Banks. Forecasts call for partly cloudy with a high of 79F and winds SW at 10 to 15 mph.
Tropical storms have sustained winds of about 35 miles per hour, with higher gusts. Tropical disturbances are named when they have sustained winds of 39 m.p.h.
You can also get the latest NWS Morehead City Tropical Briefing by going to http://weather.gov/media/mhx/LatestBriefing.pdf