A significant weather alert has been issued for a vast stretch of the eastern coast of the United States. The National Hurricane Center has activated a tropical storm warning spanning from North Carolina to Delaware in response to the emergence of “Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen” on Thursday. This storm is currently situated approximately 340 miles southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, and is moving in a northerly direction, boasting sustained winds of 35 mph.
In meteorological terms, a potential tropical cyclone is defined as a disturbance that presents the potential for tropical storm or hurricane conditions to affect land within a 48-hour timeframe. The current weather system is anticipated to approach the coast of North Carolina by Friday night or early Saturday.
Meteorologist Maria Torres has issued a call to action for residents along the Atlantic coast, urging them to closely monitor the storm’s progression, gather necessary supplies, and make preparations over the next 24 to 48 hours. She warns, “This will bring some tropical storm force winds and storm surge, along with high winds, to the east coast throughout the weekend, primarily affecting the southeastern to mid-Atlantic states.”
The tropical storm warning encompasses an extensive area, stretching from Cape Fear, North Carolina, to Fenwick Island, Delaware. This warning also encompasses the Chesapeake Bay south of North Beach, Tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island, and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.
Virginia’s emergency management officials are sounding the alarm regarding heavy rainfall, high winds, and potential flooding over the coming days. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has taken to social media to announce that they are closely coordinating with local weather service offices to monitor the evolving weather system. They are advising residents to make necessary preparations for the storm and its anticipated impacts on the region throughout the weekend.
North Carolina Emergency Management has also issued a warning, noting that large swells from the distant Hurricane Nigel will reach the state’s coastline on Thursday, elevating the risk of rip currents. The combination of these swells and the low-pressure system in question could lead to further issues, including ocean overwash, beach erosion, and coastal flooding.
According to the Hurricane Center, a storm surge ranging from two to four feet is expected. A storm surge warning is currently in effect for areas stretching from Duck, North Carolina, to Chincoteague, Virginia, including the Chesapeake Bay south of Windmill Point, as well as the Neuse River, the Pamlico River, and portions of Pamlico Sound.
Additionally, a storm surge watch has been issued from Surf City in North Carolina to Duck, North Carolina, along with the Chesapeake Bay north of Windmill Point to Smith Point, the Tidal Potomac south of Colonial Beach, and the remainder of Albemarle and Pamlico Sound. Residents in these areas are strongly advised to stay informed and take precautions as necessary to protect life and property.