HISTORIC TRIANGLE — A tropical storm warning and storm surge watch have been issued for the area ahead of a weekend system forecasted to make its way up the coast.
As of 11:28 a.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service in Wakefield said a tropical storm warning and storm surge watch are in effect for Accomack, Camden, Chowan, Eastern Currituck, Gloucester, Hampton/Poquoson, Isle of Wight, Lancaster, Mathews, Middlesex, Newport News, Norfolk/Portsmouth, Northampton, Northumberland, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Suffolk, Virginia Beach, Western Currituck, and York.
A tropical storm warning is also in effect for Chesapeake, Gates, Inland Worcester, and the Maryland beaches, and a storm surge watch is in effect for Bertie, James City, and Surry.
A tropical storm warning means tropical storm-force winds are expected somewhere in the area within the next 36 hours.
“It is looking increasingly likely that a significant storm system will impact the region Friday into this weekend. Threats include heavy rainfall of 1-4 inches (highest towards the coast), strong wind gusts of 40-60 mph (again highest along the coast), and moderate to locally major coastal flooding. Impacts will be greatest adjacent to the water. Please keep apprised to the latest forecast on weather.gov/akq over the next day or so,” the National Weather Service in Wakefield warned on its Facebook page.
Currently, the National Weather Service (NWS) says the storm is about 570 miles south of Norfolk. At 11 a.m., it said Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 was moving toward the north at near 9 mph, and that general motion was expected to continue through early Friday. A north-northwestward to northward motion is forecast by late Friday and will continue into the weekend.
NWS said the center of the cyclone is expected to approach the coast of North Carolina within the warning area Friday night and early Saturday. Tropical storm warnings are in effect for locations along and near the coastlines of the Atlantic Ocean from Duck, N.C. to Fenwick Island, Delaware, the Chesapeake Bay from Cape Henry to Smith Point, the tidal rivers of eastern Virginia, and the Currituck and Albemarle Sounds of North Carolina.
A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for the Atlantic coast from Duck, N.C. to Chincoteague, the Chesapeake Bay from Cape Henry to Smith Point and the tidal rivers of eastern Virginia, and along the Albemarle and Currituck Sounds in North Carolina.
Tropical storm force wind is expected to arrive Friday night into early Saturday and this could lead to downed trees and scattered power outages, NWS warned, while cautioning about the possible limited impact of hazardous wind across Northeast North Carolina, Eastern Virginia, and Southeast Maryland.
Areas of moderate to major coastal flooding are possible during high tide Friday night into Saturday, and heavy rainfall is expected to accompany the cyclone, with 2-3 inches possible inland, and 3-4 inches closer to the coast.
There is a limited threat of tornadoes along the coast of northeast North Carolina.
Dangerous marine conditions are expected Friday night into Saturday due to the strong winds and high seas, which will remain elevated into Sunday.