stormy weather in store for Hatteras and Ocracoke
week on Hatteras and Ocracoke has already been pretty much of a
wash-out, and it’s not likely to get much better until Friday.
The watches and warnings are flying out of the National Weather Service
in Newport, N.C., but John Cole, warning coordination meteorologist,
says a tropical storm watch or warning is not in our future – at least
at this point.
That’s because Tropical Storm Nicole, which is now down around Cuba and
South Florida with winds of only 40 mph, is expected to move northeast
off Florida and fizzle out.
A complex set of conditions will bring us very windy conditions with
heavy rains tonight and into tomorrow.
Our weather will be, he said, indirectly related to Nicole, but more
the result of a stalled cold front over the area that has sent waves of
low pressure moving along it and brought us almost 6 inches from Sunday
Cole said a non-tropical low will form south of the area tonight and
tomorrow and move inland.
He added that, although our weather might not be directly related to
Nicole, the impacts will be the same as a minimal tropical storm.
At mid-afternoon, there was a wind advisory, a coastal flood advisory,
a high surf advisory, and a flood watch in effect for the Outer Banks
of Dare and Hyde counties. And, just in case, you were
about taking a swim, there is also a high threat of rip currents.
Here is what Cole said we can expect on the islands:
winds increasing to gale force tonight – first southeast and then
switching more to the south. We could see sustained winds of
25-35 with some gusts as high as 50 mph.
storm surge with a possibility of ocean overwash and minor beach
erosion, mostly south of Cape Hatteras.
flooding now looks to be more likely on the mainland. When
winds shift to north on Friday, they are forecast to blow about 20 mph
from the north, so soundside flooding is not now predicted for Hatteras
to four more inches of rain tonight, tomorrow, and into early Friday.
The heaviest rainfall he said will be west of the Outer Banks.
tide is about midnight tonight and noon on Thursday, which, Cole said,
is when we can expect the most ocean overwash.
high wind and southeast swell will build seas to 7 to 10 feet tonight
with a peak of 14-19 on Thursday.
Since Jan 1, there have been 53 inches of rain measured at Billy
Mitchell Airfield in Buxton, which is about 10.4 inches above
normal. The rainfall in September, including during Hurricane
Earl, measured 10.82 inches at midnight last night. That is
inches above normal for the month.
The forecast for the weekend is for cooler and drier weather.
For more information and updates on the forecast, go to http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/mhx/