MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Ophelia. It currently has max winds of 60 mph and is moving to the north-northwest at 12 mph.
The system will continue north and will make landfall near the Outer Banks early Saturday morning.
Since the system will be making landfall to our north the impacts to our area will be minor. No storm surge or coastal flooding is expected. We are also on the southwest side of the center and therefore tornadoes are of no concern, but it will be gusty and rainy. Winds will be gusting near 20-25 mph today; and 30-35 mph tonight/early Saturday morning. An infrequent wind gust over 40 mph is possible.
We currently have a Tropical Storm Warning in effect for our coastal waters. There is a moderate rip current for today and tomorrow, and surf will be high as well with waves 4-6 feet.
Winds will be gusting to close to 50 mph offshore with waves from 13-21ft. Offshore is defined as 25-200 miles from the beach. Offshore conditions improve tomorrow night.
Most of the rain will fall along the coast of North Carolina with a moderate potential for excessive rainfall in the Outer Banks; meaning there is a 40% chance of flash flooding. Scotland and Robeson counties along with portions of Darlington, Dillon, and Horry counties are only under a 5% chance of flash flooding. Flash flooding will occur at 4-6 inches of rain.
We could see some heavy downpours, but overall a significant rain event is not expected. Some areas could get up to an inch, but most will see less than that. As it currently stands, all models agree less than half an inch on average for Florence and Myrtle Beach. The GFS and Baron models forecast twice as much rain for the border belt in comparison to the European model. The border belt should expect 1-2″.
It is possible that Lumberton’s rainfall records for today (9/22) and tomorrow (9/23) could be beaten. Friday’s record is 1.61″ from 1913 and Saturday’s record is 2.27″ from 1920.