Tropical Storm Ophelia has formed off the southeast U.S. coast. It is expected to weaken after making landfall in eastern North Carolina tomorrow morning, Saturday 9/23. The storm’s remnants and an associated frontal complex will bring a wide range of impacts to NYC this weekend, including heavy rain, gusty winds, and coastal hazards.
Ophelia is currently about 500 miles south of NYC, and is expected to begin transitioning into a post-tropical depression after making landfall tomorrow morning, Saturday 9/23. Regardless of classification, widespread steady rain is expected to start early Saturday morning, with periods of heavy rain likely between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Max rainfall rates are expected to be around 0.5 inch/hour, with total amounts of 1 to 2 inches on Saturday. Widespread nuisance flooding in low lying and poor drainage areas will be possible, and isolated areas of flash flooding cannot be ruled out.
Scattered rainfall will continue into Sunday, with an additional half an inch of rain expected. Showers will linger into Monday, but no significant impacts are anticipated at that time. Largely dry conditions are forecast by Tuesday morning.
Winds will increase this evening, Friday 9/22, with gusts up to 30 mph, and will continue to strengthen tomorrow with sustained speeds of 20 to 30 mph and gusts upwards of 40 mph, highest along the immediate coast. Breezy conditions will continue on Sunday with gusts up to 30 mph, tapering off by Monday morning.
The storm will also bring a range of coastal hazards. Coastal Flood Advisories are in effect for Staten Island and Southern Queens, with Coastal Flood Statements valid along all other NYC shorelines. Above-ground inundation levels of up to 1.5 feet are possible in Advisory areas, with 0.5 to 1 feet expected elsewhere. Coastal flooding may continue into early next week. The storm will also bring large breaking waves upwards of 10 feet at Atlantic-facing beaches, a high risk of life-threatening rip currents, and rough surf.
NYC Emergency Management recommends taking the following steps to prepare and respond:
For real-time weather information, visit the National Weather Service New York website at weather.gov/nyc.
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