2005 Hurricane Ophelia Keeps The East Coast Guessing

Fifteenth named storm keeps East Coast guessing

Typical woman: always keeping you guessing. Is she a hurricane or a tropical storm? Will she go ashore sooner or later? And where?

Right-Coaster Ben Bourgeois reaps the rewards of Ophelia’s wrath

The season’s 15th named storm, Ophelia, first formed off of Florida last week and has been hugging the coast ever since, doing loops, and giving Sunshine State surfers some of the best waves they’ve seen since spring. Reports of overhead barrels came flowing in as early as Friday morning as late as today everyone form local rippers to supers stars like {{{CJ}}} Hobgood and Todd Morcom have been storming sandbars between Satellite Beach and unnamed parts south. As Ophelia slowly shifted north, then stalled, she pushed energy into areas of Southern North Carolina, a nice welcome home for WQS tourhourse Ben Bourgeois, who sampled some of the better local breaks with photog DJ Struntz Saturday and Sunday. But now, after a weekend of surf-soaked rewards, it’s come time to deal with the consequences as Ophelia prepares to come ashore. The question is when? And where? And at what cost? Sunday, her winds reached 85 mph – a strong Category One hurricane — but come Monday, she was downgraded to a 70-mph tropical storm. Furthermore, where she was once forecast to hit south Carolina on Tuesday, she since slowed down and now predictions are saying she’ll strike land somewhere between Cape Lookout and Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, either late Wednesday or early Thursday am. After that who knows? She could re-strengthen and skirt up the coast. She could go inshore and drown in dry air. Hell, Ophelia could stall right now, turn Cat 5 and skip south again. Unlikely, but like all tropical wenches, it’s her decision — and she’ll let us know when she’s ready.