(Thursday Sept. 21 afternoon update) –– The noon update from the National Weather Service has provided us with additional information regarding this weekend’s potential weather impacts. First, this system is just beginning to get organized in its formation, and therefore will rapidly change over the next 24 hours. During this time, you may hear a lot of discussion as to whether or not it remains a subtropical system, becomes a tropical depression or even a named Tropical Storm as Ophelia. Regardless of whether it becomes a named system or not, our forecast partners are confident this system will bring the following rain, wind and storm surge impacts to Beaufort County.
- Rain will begin to move into the area around 8 a.m. Friday morning and continue through 1 a.m. Sunday. 2 to 3 inches of rain is expected for areas west of Bath and Blounts Creek during this time, with areas west receiving 3 to 4 inches.
- Our greatest chance of rain is currently forecasted to occur between 2 p.m. Friday and 1 p.m. Saturday.
- Our heaviest rains are expected to occur between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Friday.
- North and northeast winds will begin to increase around 4 a.m. Friday morning becoming sustained between 20 and 25 mph with frequent gusts of 25 to 30 mph by 4 p.m. These wind conditions are expected to continue 10 a.m Saturday morning.
- Winds will begin to transition to the West after 10 a.m. Saturday and remain sustain between 15 and 20 mph with frequent gusts of 20 to 30 mph through 1 a.m. Sunday morning.
- Areas that are adjacent to our county’s shorelines and vast open farm land will experience higher sustained winds and gusts. (25 to 30 sustained with gustd of 30 to 40 mph.)
Our waterways are currently forecasted to receive 2 to 4 feet of storm surge Friday and early Saturday morning. However, these values will be extremely dependent upon the exact track of the storm. For example, the current track indicates that the center of the storm will make landfall near Cape Lookout, which would keep the stronger northeast winds to our east. However, if the center track shifts to the west, with landfall occurring around Pender or Onslow Counties, then our surge values could increase to 3 to 5 feet. So far, there have been no indications that our surge will exceed 5 feet.
*For anyone planning to attend ECU’s home opener in Greenville on Saturday, the current game time forecast is as follows:
- Rain chances will begin to diminish around 2pm, with 3 to 4 tenths of an inch expected between 2pm and 10pm.
- Sustained west winds between 15 and 20 mph with gust of 20 to 25 mph are expected between 2pm and 10pm.*