Northeastern Deluge: Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia’s Heavy Rainfall Rampage

In a powerful display of nature’s force, post-tropical cyclone Ophelia wreaked havoc across the Northeastern United States. This article delves into the key details and impacts of this weather event.

Flash Flooding Threat Looms Over Mid-Atlantic Coast


Despite its post-tropical status, Ophelia maintained its ability to disrupt the Mid-Atlantic coast, spanning from Washington, D.C., to New York. As of the final advisory at 5 a.m. ET on Sunday, the National Hurricane Center issued warnings of flash flooding in the region. Some areas in the Mid-Atlantic to southern New England were expected to receive between 1 and 3 inches of rainfall. The swells generated by Ophelia posed a significant risk of life-threatening surf and rip currents along the East Coast.

Ophelia Weakens as Tropical Storm Philippe Forms

As Ophelia weakened, another weather system, tropical storm Philippe, began to take shape in the Atlantic. As of Sunday at 5 p.m. ET, Philippe was located 1,225 miles from the Cabo Verde Islands, moving west-northwest with maximum winds of 50 mph. No watches or warnings related to Philippe had been issued at that time.

Coastal Flooding and Flash Floods

Coastal flooding remained a threat in parts of the Chesapeake Bay on Sunday. Moreover, heavy rain from Ophelia continued to pose a risk of flash flooding from Virginia to New Jersey, according to the hurricane center. This alarming trend of frequent and severe floods has been exacerbated by more extreme precipitation and sea level rise due to climate change.

Power Outages and State of Emergency

The impact of Ophelia was evident in the power outages it caused. Nearly 8,000 customers in Maryland and 4,700 customers in Pennsylvania found themselves without power on Sunday afternoon, according to PowerOutage.US, which tracks outages across the country. In response to the impending disaster, the governors of Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia declared a state of emergency on Friday.

Ophelia’s Landfall and Rainfall Records

Ophelia made landfall near Emerald Isle, N.C. around 6:15 a.m. ET on Saturday, boasting maximum winds of 70 mph. As the storm moved through central North Carolina, it brought winds of 20 to 25 mph, with gusts reaching 35 to 45 mph, resulting in downed trees and further power outages. In Raleigh, Ophelia dumped over 3 inches of rain on Saturday, breaking the area’s daily rainfall record set in 1906 by more than an inch. Fuquay-Varina, located south of Raleigh, received nearly 5 inches of rainfall during the deluge.

Over the weekend, parts of central and southern Virginia also witnessed substantial rainfall, with accumulations ranging between 3 and 5 inches.

Coastal Flood Advisory

Adding to the list of concerns, a coastal flood advisory was issued for the Delaware beaches until 9 p.m. ET. The National Weather Service (NWS) anticipated over a foot of rising water near shorelines and tidal waterways.

In conclusion, Post-Tropical Cyclone Ophelia left a trail of destruction across the Northeast, with flash floods, power outages, and rainfall records broken. This event serves as a stark reminder of the growing challenges posed by extreme weather events in a changing climate.

Post-tropical cyclone Ophelia unleashes heavy rain across Northeast, underlining the need for continued vigilance and preparedness in the face of such natural disasters.

Climate Change’s Influence on Hurricane Intensity

Did Hurricane Ophelia hit New York?

The remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia over the Atlantic Ocean converged with a mid-latitude system from the west during a season known for heightened storm activity. This unique combination system stalled over New York, unleashing its impact for a continuous 12-hour period. Did Hurricane Ophelia hit New York? While it wasn’t a direct hit from a hurricane, the residual effects of Ophelia, in combination with other weather patterns, led to significant weather disturbances in the region.

Was Ophelia a cyclone?

Was Ophelia a cyclone? Ophelia, initially a powerful tropical storm, underwent a transformation, eventually being downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. On Saturday, this weather system unleashed its impact, bringing with it strong winds that left thousands without power. Additionally, heavy rainfall and storm surges caused flooding on roadways, particularly in the Mid-Atlantic region.

What level of hurricane was Ophelia?

What level of hurricane was Ophelia? Hurricane Ophelia attained the formidable status of a Category 3 hurricane on October 1, 2011. Remarkably, in 2017, it made history as the most eastern Category 3 hurricane ever observed through satellite tracking. Initially, Ophelia meandered within a relatively confined area of the Atlantic for six days before eventually changing course, moving east and then northeastward, ultimately posing a threat to Europe.

Where is tropical storm Ophelia?

Where is tropical storm Ophelia? Tropical storm Ophelia followed a steady northward trajectory, ultimately making landfall at Emerald Isle, NC in the southeastern part of the state. This significant event occurred at precisely 6:20 AM on Saturday, September 23rd, with Ophelia maintaining tropical storm status and winds reaching speeds of 70 mph.

What type of hurricane was Ophelia?

category 3 hurricane

What type of hurricane was Ophelia? Ophelia made an indelible mark in the record books as the strongest eastern Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, dating back to the mid-1800s, boasting a formidable status as a Category 3 hurricane. This meteorological feat occurred within the context of the seventh most intense Atlantic hurricane season since 1850, marked by the emergence of ten hurricanes in just ten weeks.

What happened after Storm Ophelia?

What happened after Storm Ophelia? In the wake of Storm Ophelia, a ‘Status Red – Severe Weather Warning – Take Action’ was issued, urging individuals to take immediate steps to safeguard themselves and their property. The aftermath of the storm was marked by extensive power outages, structural damage including lifted roofs, a substantial number of fallen trees, and coastal flooding incidents in Ireland. Tragically, Storm Ophelia was also responsible for the loss of three lives.

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