Potential Tropical Cyclone 16 heading to Virginia

(WRIC) — Potential tropical Cyclone 16 is the big story this morning as it continues to gather strength and move up along the southeast coast. We do expect this will become Sub-tropical storm Ophelia later today as it begins to cross the very warm waters of the gulf stream. The water in the Atlantic Ocean is in the middle 80s and that should be enough fuel to allow this to strengthen even more. In fact, we do expect that this could become a sub-tropical storm with winds of 60 miles per hour just before landfall which will be tomorrow morning near Morehead City, North Carolina.

From that point it will move up along the eastern side of North Carolina and then cross through eastern and east Central Virginia during the day on Saturday and Saturday night before moving out into the Chesapeake Bay and into the Delmarva during Sunday.

Here is what we can expect as our forecast unfolds:

We will start today with a little bit of sunshine, but clouds will quickly move into Central Virginia and it looks like we will start to see some showers developing from Emporia to the Tidewater between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. those showers will move into Metro Richmond by the time we get to your evening commute and as we head into the latter part of this evening the showers will turn more into a steady rain. It will be a breezy and cool day with highs only around 70.

Steady rain will be with us tonight and it will be windy with winds from the Northeast at 20 to 30 mph with some higher gusts. Keep in mind wins along the coast will be stronger where we could have 30 to 40 mph wind gusts and even some higher gusts above that.

We are also concerned about storm surge along the coast for our Northern Neck communities middle Peninsula and lower peninsula where the storm surge could range from 3 to 6 ft. It is also a good bet that that storm surge will go all the way up into the James River, the York River, and the Rappahannock river.

Saturday will be a rainy and windy day and there’s the potential for some thunderstorms during the day. We could even have a spin up tornado or two which is very common with landfall tropical systems. It will be a cool day with highs in the upper 60s. The winds during Saturday will be 20 to 30 mph along I-95 with Winds of 30 to 40 mph along the coast.

This system will finally during Sunday, and we should see mostly cloudy skies with some occasional breaks of sun. It will be cool with highs in the lower 70s.

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