January 23, 2015

Coastal low will affect Outer
Banks tonight, tomorrow


An area of low pressure along the central Gulf Coast today will move rapidly northeast and strengthen as it moves through North Carolina's coastal plain late tonight into early tomorrow morning. A warm front will lift north over the area tonight, with a cold front pushing through on Saturday.

The low will bring with it heavy rain, wind, high seas, and a chance of an isolated severe thunderstorm or tornado, beach erosion, and flooding on roadways.

The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., has issued a gale warning for the coastal waters from 10 p.m. until 9 a.m., a wind advisory for the Outer Banks from 1 a.m. until 6 a.m., a high surf advisory for south-facing beaches from 10 p.m. until 1 p.m. tomorrow, and a flood watch for the region tonight and tomorrow morning.

The forecast calls for gusty southeast winds becoming southwest overnight and west tomorrow. Winds of 25 to 35 mph can be expected with gusts to 45 mph.  Seas will build to 8 to 12 feet in the surf zone causing dangerous shorebreak and rip currents with some beach erosion possible on south-facing beaches. Seas over the coastal waters will peak at 15 to 20 feet late tonight.

Rainfall across eastern North Carolina is forecast to be 2 to 3 inches with locally higher amounts, which can cause ponding of water on roadways. As the warm front lifts north tonight, an isolated severe storm is possible with the threat of damaging wind gusts or an isolated tornado.

The temperatures will rise into the 50s along the coast this evening with the southeast winds and then fall back into the 40s tomorrow afternoon as the cold front crosses the area. A reinforcing shot of cold air on Sunday night and Monday will bring high temperatures back down into the 40s early next week.

For more information and the latest watches and warnings, go to http://www.weather.gov/mhx/.

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