First Alert Forecast: gradual weekend weather improvements after Tropical Storm Ophelia

Your First Alert Weather Team will expire a FIRST ALERT ACTION DAY for Friday, September 22 in the early hours of Saturday, September 23.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 1:40 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2023 at 8:26 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Your First Alert Forecast opens with a brush from Tropical Storm Ophelia. The National Hurricane Center has included the eastern Cape Fear Region, including New Hanover and Pender Counties, in a Tropical Storm Warning through early Saturday. More impactful tropical storm conditions, which may include surge and tornadoes, are likelier farther northeast over the Crystal Coast and Outer Banks. Still, this storm system now carries a high enough profile for the Cape Fear Region for your First Alert Weather Team to continue the First Alert Action Day program through Friday night, September 22, into the earliest hours of Saturday, September 23.

Timing & Impacts: These have not wavered much, despite the increased tropical verbiage from the National Hurricane Center. Through Friday night, expect bands of locally heavy showers to stream in from the ocean while cool winds bluster in from the north. By Saturday morning, most spots will have realized two to four inches of rain and some roadway ponding. Localized poor drainage and some flash flooding is possible too. An Areal Flood Watch is now in effect for Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender counties through Saturday afternoon. As the Cape Fear Region will be on the western periphery of this system, big variations in these tallies are possible. Many spots - especially but not exclusively those within the Tropical Storm Warning area - will also have netted some 40+ mph wind gusts by Saturday morning. Sky conditions will gradually but significantly improve Saturday ahead of a very nice Sunday. Rough marine and surf conditions, including rip currents, may not settle until Sunday.

Our Promise & Your Action: For now, this system is not likely to be as impactful from a flooding, wind, and severe storm standpoint as Idalia was in August; trust your First Alert Weather Team to keep you updated on TV, online, and on your WECT Weather App in any case. The app is a great way to see all official National Weather Service bulletins - including marine bulletins - that may be relevant to your location. As a precaution, you might choose to secure loose porch and yard items and clear storm drains.

Stay vigilant and prepared as you navigate the heart of Hurricane Season:

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FAQs about the First Alert Action Day program: