October 8, 2013

Coastal low could bring some
minor flooding on northern Hatteras


A low pressure area off the southeast coast will move slowly north as the week goes on, bringing moderate to strong northeast winds and a chance of minor coastal flooding on northern Hatteras Island.

According to the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Facebook page, Highway 12 was open and passable in the area of the S-curves in northern Rodanthe, though equipment was cleaning some sand and water off the pavement after this morning’s high tide.

According to the National Weather Service office in Newport, N.C., the heavy winds had built seas offshore to 8 to 9 feet.

A coastal flood advisory issued this morning was due to expire at 11 p.m. tonight, but seas will not subside for several days. A high surf advisory has been issued for beaches north of Hatteras from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. tomorrow.

The advisory calls for water levels of 1.5-2 feet higher than normal. High tide is late morning and late evening tonight and tomorrow.

The strong northeast winds are caused by a tight pressure gradient between a low pressure area off the northern Florida coast and a high pressure off the northern mid-Atlantic coast.

The NWS forecast for tonight is for northeast winds of 25-30 knots and seas of 7 to 10 feet.  Tomorrow’s forecast is for winds northeast 20 to 25 knots with seas still at 7 to 10 feet.

NWS meteorologists say forecast models differ quite a bit on the track of the low as it slowly moves up the coast through the week.

Winds will gradually decrease and seas will slowly subside through the end of the week.

Today’s heavy rain will also gradually diminish over the next couple days.

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