Comprehensive Weather Update on Tropical Storm Ophelia (PTC Sixteen)

Topsail Island and surrounding areas are under multiple weather advisories due to the approaching tropical system known as “PTC Sixteen.” If this Potential Tropical Cyclone (“PTC”) forms into a named storm, it will take on the name of Tropical Storm Ophelia.

This article provides an overview of the alerts issued by the National Weather Service and additional insights from WECT’s Chief Meteorologist, Gannon Medwick.

National Weather Service Alerts

High Surf Advisory and High Rip Current Risk

  • What: Large breaking waves of 5 to 7 feet in the surf zone and dangerous rip currents.
  • Where: Coastal Pender and Coastal New Hanover Counties.
  • When: High Surf Advisory in effect until 2 PM EDT Saturday; High Rip Current Risk through this evening.
  • Impacts: Dangerous swimming and surfing conditions, localized beach erosion.
  • Precautions: Inexperienced swimmers should stay out of the water. If caught in a rip current, relax and float, and signal for help if unable to escape.

Tropical Storm Warning

  • What: Tropical storm conditions expected.
  • Where: Coastal New Hanover, Coastal Pender, Inland New Hanover, and Inland Pender.
  • When: Ongoing until further notice.
  • Impacts: Wind speeds of 25-35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph; potential for wind 39 to 57 mph.
  • Precautions: Complete all preparations to protect life and property. Move to a safe shelter before the winds become hazardous.

Hurricane Local Statement

  • What: Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen may become a tropical storm before making landfall near Cape Lookout, North Carolina.
  • Impacts: Hazardous marine and surf conditions, heavy downpours causing localized minor flooding, tropical storm force winds, and minor coastal flooding.
  • Precautions: Complete all preparations to protect life and property. Keep cell phones well-charged and handy.

Hazardous Weather Outlook

  • What: Elevated rip current threat possibly extending into Monday.
  • Where: Southeast North Carolina.
  • Precautions: Stay updated through NOAA Weather Radio or

Insights from WECT’s Chief Meteorologist

Gannon Medwick states that the system is not expected to be as impactful as Tropical Storm Idalia but still warrants caution. Heavy showers are expected to stream in from the ocean, with most spots receiving one to three inches of rain.

Wind gusts of 40+ mph are likely, especially along the coast north of Cape Fear – including the Topsail area.

For more details and future updates, visit WECT’s weather page.

What to Expect

  • Rainfall: 3-6 inches, with locally higher amounts.
  • Wind: 25-35 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.
  • Storm Surge: Up to 2 feet above ground in surge-prone areas.
  • Tornadoes: The situations are somewhat favorable for tornadoes.

Precautions to Take

  • Secure loose porch and yard items.
  • Clear storm drains.
  • Stay updated through official bulletins.
  • Complete all preparations to protect life and property.
  • Move to a safe shelter before the onset of tropical storm-force winds.

Multiple advisories are in effect for Topsail Island and surrounding areas due to PTC Sixteen. Residents and visitors should take all necessary precautions and stay updated on the latest weather conditions. This article will be updated as new information becomes available.


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