Tropical Storm Ophelia takes shape off Florida coastline

| 9/7/2005

A little more than a week after Hurricane Katrina landed in the Gulf States, another storm is taking shape just off Florida’s east coast.

Tropical Storm Ophelia continues to strengthen, and is expected to meander just off the east Florida coast for the next few days. A tropical storm warning – meaning tropical storm conditions are expected within the warning area in the next 24 hours – remains in effect for the east coast of Florida from Sebastian Inlet northward to Flagler Beach.

A tropical storm watch – meaning tropical storm conditions are possible within the next 36 hours – remains in effect for the northeast coast of Florida from north of Flagler Beach to Fernandina Beach.

At 11 a.m. EDT on Wednesday, the center of Tropical Storm Ophelia was located about 85 miles east-northeast of Cape Canaveral, FL.

Ophelia is moving toward the northwest at 3 mph, and is expected to continue that path during the next day or two. Maximum sustained winds have increased to near 50 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during the next 24 hours.

Rainfall accumulations of 3 to 5 inches, with isolated higher amounts of 8 inches, can be expected across portions of central and northern Florida, and southeastern Georgia.