Ophelia now a Tropical Storm Warning

National Weather Service issues warning here

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By late morning Thursday the National Weather Service in Taunton, Mass., was warning boaters that Hurricane Ophelia could deliver up to 55-mph wind gusts and kick up waves of at least 15 feet on south facing waterfronts on Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts this weekend.

Hurricane Ophelia was upgraded from a tropical storm yesterday. By late morning WCVB was reporting heavy rain west of Boston delaying traffic on the Mass Pike, see story and doppler radar image here. At 10 AM, thunderstorms with torrential rains were on a line from Framingham to Uxbridge Massachusetts to Burrillville Rhode Island. rainfall rates of up to 2 inches per hour were occurring. A spotter in Webster reported more than 1 inch of rain in 15 minutes.

Ophelia is expected to menace the North Carolina coast through most of today then turn toward the waters south and east of New England Friday into Saturday, passing around 160 miles south southeast of Nantucket Saturday morning. However, other possible tracks of Ophelia are developing.

The weather service said in issuing a special weather statement today that the storm could track closer to the Cape and islands, causing bigger problems for southeastern New England.

Local mariners should stay ashore Friday and Saturday

As of 10 am Friday NOAA had posted tropical storm   warnings (shown in purple) for Cape Cod and the south shore.

The weather service warned that an adjusting jet stream could send the storm closer to Cape Cod by the weekend, meaning that the tropical-storm conditions now expected to remain well to the south of Nantucket would make an uncomfortably close pass to the Cape and islands early Saturday, the weather service says.

"Mariners with ocean travel interests to the south and east of New England should plan to avoid this storm Friday and Saturday," the weather service says.

Tracking Ophelia

You can see the latest predicted track for this storm by clicking the NOAA image here which indicated on Thursday afternoon that it would brush Cape Cod.

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