March 5, 2013
Coastal storm forecast to bring
high wind and coastal flooding
The latest winter storm to take aim on the North Carolina coast might not be as strong as it earlier looked to be.
it’s still going to be a big storm for the Outer Banks,” Casey Dail, a
meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., said
The Weather Service has issued gale warnings for
the Pamlico Sound and coastal waters and both a wind advisory and a
coastal flood advisory for Outer Banks Dare and Hyde counties.
winds may not be much higher than they have been in other winter storms,
but Dail said the long duration of the winds and rough seas could be
trouble, especially for Highway 12 on Hatteras Island.
pressure area is approaching from the west and will move off the coast
near the North Carolina-Virginia border on Wednesday and deepen rapidly
as it moves northeast on Wednesday night and into Thursday.
wind advisory is in effect from 8 a.m. Wednesday until 9 a.m.
Thursday. Winds are forecast to be from the west tomorrow at 25
to 35 mph with gusts to 45. The winds will go to the northwest
Wednesday night and continue at the same strength well into Thursday
and perhaps early Friday.
The coastal flood advisory is in
effect from 1 p.m. Wednesday until 7 p.m. Friday. The west and
northwest winds will pile sound water up on the backside of Hatteras
and Ocracoke, and tides are forecast to be 2 to 3 feet above normal.
though the winds will be westerly tomorrow, from the northwest on
Thursday, and turning more northerly on Friday, the storm offshore will
produce heavy seas with wave heights of 8 to 13 feet.
heavy seas and high waves will likely continue through Friday and
perhaps into Saturday, when seas are still expected to be 8 to 11 feet.
That could mean ocean overwash, especially at high tide, north of Cape
Hatteras for up to four days.
The overwash is most
likely at Mirlo Beach and the S-curves in northern Rodanthe and
possible in north Buxton. High tides are mid- to late-afternoon and in
the early morning hours the rest of the week.
The North Carolina
Department of Transportation Ferry Division has warned that the high
winds could affect travel by ferry, starting tomorrow.
Division crews have prepared their docking facilities to be ready in
case routes need to be shut down when the storm arrives, making
ferry travel potentially unsafe.
Travelers who have
reservations or plans to use ferry routes are advised to check with the
departure terminal for up-to-date information. The phone numbers are:
Ocracoke – (252) 928-1665
Cedar Island – (252) 225-7411
Swan Quarter – (252) 926-6021
Hatteras – (252) 986-2353
Cherry Branch – (252) 447-1055
Southport – (910) 457-6942
Fort Fisher – (910) 458-3329
Bayview-Aurora - (252) 964-4521
Currituck-Knotts Island - (252) 232-2683
can also call 800-293-3779 (BY-FERRY) and Press 1 for up-to-date ferry
information, or sign up to receive Tweets on their personal cell phones
by going to www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry.