Tropical Storm Ophelia is expected to make landfall in North Carolina on Saturday morning, bringing with it high winds, flooding and “life-threatening” storm surge, the National Hurricane Center said.
The storm, which formed off of Florida’s Atlantic coast, was pushing its way toward the Carolinas on Friday afternoon with wind speeds of 60 mph.
Forecasters said Ophelia will continue to strengthen before reaching North Carolina. A hurricane watch was issued for for the Carolina coast from north of Surf City to Ocracoke Inlet.
The National Hurricane Center warned residents in the path of the storm to heed warnings from local officials.
"Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions," the NHC said.
Hurricane watch issued:
North Carolina coast from north of Surf City to Ocracoke Inlet
This means that hurricane conditions are possible within the watch area.
Storm surge warnings issued:
Beaufort Inlet, N.C. to Chincoteague, Va.
Chesapeake Bay south of Colonial Beach, Va.
Neuse and Pamlico Rivers
Portions of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds
This means life-threatening inundation, from rising water moving inland from the coast, is possible within the warning area during the next 36 hours.
Tropical storm warnings issued:
Cape Fear, N.C. to Fenwick Island, Del.
Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds
Tidal Potomac south of Cobb Island
Chesapeake Bay south of North Beach
This means tropical storm conditions are expected anywhere within the warning area in the next 36 hours.
Storm surge watches issued:
Surf City, N.C., to Beaufort Inlet, N.C.
Remainder of Pamlico and Albemarle Sounds, N.C.
This means there’s a possibility of a life-threatening inundation of water moving inland from the coastline during the next 48 hours in the watch areas listed.
Other storm systems churning in the Atlantic and Pacific
Hurricane Nigel: As of Friday morning, Nigel had been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone with maximum winds of 70 mph. There are no coastal watches or warnings in effect for Nigel.
Disturbance 2: In the eastern Atlantic, just west of the Cape Verde islands, a tropical wave, or an area of low pressure in the atmosphere, is moving west from Africa into the Atlantic and is likely to become a tropical depression this weekend or early next week.
According to AccuWeather, a majority — or 85% — of all tropical storm developments can trace their origins to tropical waves, which typically run north to south.
Read more on Yahoo News: Heard of a tropical wave? Here's what you need to know, from AccuWeather
Tropical Depression Kenneth: Meanwhile in the Pacific Ocean, Kenneth weakened to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph as it moved north over 1,000 miles west-southwest from the southern tip of Baja California.
As of Friday morning, no coastal watches or warnings were in effect for Kenneth.
Disturbance 1: There is a 40 percent chance of a cyclone forming in the next 48 hours from this system, which is located several hundred miles from the southern tip of the Baja California peninsula.