February 17, 2012

Coastal storm is forecast for the holiday weekend

The President’s Day weekend promises to be rainy and windy on the Outer Banks.

Strong low pressure will strengthen as it approaches eastern North Carolina on Saturday and moves off the coast Sunday.

According to the National Weather Service office in Newport, N.C., the potential threats to the area include:

  • A potential for strong winds along coastal areas.
  • A prolonged period of rain will start late Saturday evening and continue into Sunday. Rain will be heavy at times with storm total rainfall amounts of 1 to 2 inches and locally higher amounts, mainly along the coast.
  • The threat for severe weather has shifted a bit south with the latest model runs. However, the potential exists for thunderstorms along the coast and offshore with a main threat of damaging wind gusts Sunday through Sunday afternoon. We currently are in a general thunder risk for the area.
  • As the low exits off the coast, a prolonged fetch of northerly to northwesterly winds will likely result in coastal soundside flooding along the Outer Banks with water levels rising 1 to 2 feet above normal Sunday night into early Monday morning.
  • Gale conditions are likely for all of the coastal waters, including the sounds, late Sunday continuing into early Monday morning. Wind advisories will likely be issued for the Outer Banks and areas adjacent to the sounds. Seas are forecast to peak at 8 to 12 feet across the northern and central coastal waters early Monday morning.
  • As the coastal low pushes farther offshore, there is a possibility of rain/snow mix late Sunday night, mainly across northeastern portions from Tyrrell and Hyde Counties east.

For more information, go to the website of the Newport Weather Service office at http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/mhx/.

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