Tropical storm warning issued for part of NC ahead of potential cyclone

MIAMI (AP) - — A tropical storm warning was issued Thursday from coastal North Carolina to Delaware ahead of a potential tropical cyclone that’s headed toward the East Coast.

The National Hurricane Center announced “Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen” on Thursday morning. The disturbance was located about 370 miles (595 kilometers) southeast of Charleston, South Carolina, forecasters said, and moving north at 9 mph (15 kph).

The tropical storm warning is in effect from Cape Fear, North Carolina, to Fenwick Island, Delaware. It also includes the Chesapeake Bay south of Smith Point, and Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

A storm surge watch was also issued from Surf City, North Carolina, to Chincoteague, Virginia. The hurricane center said storm surge between 2 and 4 feet (.6 to 1.2 meters) was expected.

Maximum sustained winds were 35 mph (55 kph). The National Hurricane Center said the center of the cyclone could reach the North Carolina coast around Friday night and early Saturday.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Nigel was still moving quickly over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean as a Category 1 storm. The hurricane center said Nigel’s maximum sustained winds were 85 mph (140 kph). The system was centered about 505 miles (815 kilometers) southeast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, and moving northeast at 30 mph (48 kph).

Forecasters expected Nigel would weaken over the next couple of days. It could become a post-tropical cyclone on Thursday night or early Friday.

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