April 22, 2013

Coastal low could bring some ocean overwash


A coastal low pressure area formed today off the Georgia coast and is forecast to move northeast along a stalled cold front tonight into Tuesday.

A tight pressure gradient between a high pressure area over New England and the low pressure off the southeast coast has brought stiff northeast winds and building seas to the Outer Banks. 

The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., has issued a coastal flood advisory for northern Hatteras Island and is forecasting there could be minor ocean overwash in the usual spots – Mirlo Beach and the S-curves in northern Rodanthe – especially during high tide.

There is also a coastal flood advisory for Ocracoke, where the northern end of the island was overwashed in a northeaster last month.

The coastal flood advisories are in effect until 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Winds picked up on Sunday under sunny skies.  However, today was cold, gray, and drizzly most of the day.  The 55 degree temperature on Monday afternoon is 13 degrees below the average high of 68 for this date.

Northeast winds were sustained at about 20 to 30 mph with gusts over 40, and long-fetch northeast swells were expected to build to 10 to 11 feet this afternoon with 8-foot breakers on northern Hatteras Island.

The low pressure will move north of the North Carolina coast tonight and Tuesday, but the brisk northeast winds are forecast to keep the seas high through the day tomorrow.

No overwash was reported on Highway 12 on northern Hatteras Island today, but could be possible at high tide at 6 p.m. this evening and about 6 a.m. on Tuesday morning.

To check on the latest road conditions and see the webcams on Highway 12, click on the buttons on the Island Free Press Front Page at the top of the right-hand column.

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