September 22, 2014


UPDATE: More heavy rain and gusty
winds forecast for midweek

By IRENE NOLAN


Even as the big "puddles" -- if you want to call them that -- continue to cover the roads and challenge drivers, the National Weather Service is forecasting a good possibility of more heavy rain and some gusty northeast winds and high seas for midweek.

According to the National Weather Service in Newport, the combination of building high pressure from the north and a low pressure trough stalled off the North Carolina coast will bring a period of unsettled weather, beginning late tomorrow and lasting through the end of the week.

Precipitation chances begin increasing tomorrow night with a 50 percent chance of rain. Rain is likely Wednesday and Wednesday night -- a 70 percent chance -- with heavy rain possible, especially in the afternoon.

On Thursday, the chance of rain dips to 50 percent and decreases a little more Thursday night and Friday -- to 40 percent chance.

Skies could remain cloudy over the weekend, but rain is not forecast.

More heavy rain could lead to another round of flooding and ponding of water on roads on the island that were already soaked on Saturday when 5.25 inches of rain fell in Hatteras village. Standing rainwater on the roads was deep in places through Frisco and Hatteras village -- with 18 inches to 2 feet reported early Sunday just north of Hatteras village -- and the ground is still saturated.

This round of rainfall will come our way with gusty northeast winds, especially Wednesday and Wednesday night, when they are forecast at 20 to 25 knots with seas of 5 to 7 feet -- perhaps up to 8 feet -- in continuing long-period swells.

Gusty northeast winds, coupled with a swell from very distant Hurricane Eduoard, resulted in significant ocean overwash at high tide at the south approach to the temporary bridge at Pea Island Inlet for several days in the middle of last week.  And the week before, there was overwash at midweek from northeast wind and an astronomical high tide at the full moon.

NWS forecaster Chris Collins said late this afternoon that tides will not be pushed higher by either storm swells or astronomically high tides this week.

However, he said, even though the forecast models are coming into increasing agreement for midweek, the situation is "still evolving."

Ocean overwash, he added, is a "possibility." 

Motorists should stay up-to-date with the latest forecasts from the National Weather Service and check reports on road conditions, especially at high tide. Information on area roads is available on the N.C. Department of Transportation website at http://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/default.aspx or the Dare County website at http://www.darenc.com/general/roadstm.asp

Residents and visitors should also know that there is a high threat of rip currents on Outer Banks beaches on Tuesday, especially several hours before or after low tide, which is at 1 p.m.

Area weather, marine, and rip current forecasts can be found on the website of the NWS in Newport at http://www.weather.gov/mhx/.



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