February 9, 2015

There's little to love about the Valentine's week forecast


Forecasters at the National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., are delivering a Valentine's week forecast that isn't very sweet or poetic or any of the other things we think of around this holiday.

Mother Nature promises to serve up high winds, heavy surf, a chance for coastal flooding, and some rain tomorrow into Wednesday, followed by another cold front and frigid temperatures -- the coldest of the winter so far -- Friday into Monday.

This afternoon, the Weather Service in Newport issued a wind advisory, a gale warning for the ocean and sound, a high surf advisory, and a coastal flood advisory for the Outer Banks.

A cold front is forecast to cross the Outer Banks tonight with an 80 percent chance of rain tonight and 50 percent tomorrow. Coastal low pressure will form early Tuesday southeast of the area and deepen as it moves by offshore well to our east. The tight pressure gradient between the low to the east and a strong high to the west will result in high northerly winds and heavy surf.

Here are the details:

  • The wind advisory is in effect from 10 a.m. Tuesday until 10 a.m. Wednesday.  Winds will pick up through the day Tuesday, peak Tuesday night, and start subsiding on Wednesday.  Northerly winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts to 50 mph are forecast.
  • The high surf advisory runs from1 p.m. on Tuesday until 1 p.m. on Wednesday.  The forecast is for breaking waves in the surf zone from 8 to 10 feet and over the coastal waters from 12 to 15 feet.
  • The coastal flood advisory is in effect from 7 a.m. on Tuesday until 7 p.m. on Wednesday. Tides are expected to run 2 to 3 feet above normal.  There is a possibility of ocean overwash from Buxton north along Highway 12, especially at times of high tide.  High tide is about 11 on Tuesday morning and about 11:30  on Tuesday night.  Higher than normal tides on the southern Outer Banks could bring minor flooding on the soundside from Buxton south.
  • Temperatures will be much cooler.  They are forecast fall into the 40s when the front passes tonight, and highs are expected to be in the 40s on Tuesday and Wednesday -- perhaps approaching 50 on Thursday.

The really frigid air will arrive just in time for the Valentine's Day weekend.

Another cold front is forecast to cross the area Thursday night with little or no rainfall with it. 

However, temperatures will fall into the 20s by Friday morning, and highs on Friday are expected to be in the mid-30s.  The same is forecast for Saturday, with perhaps even colder temperatures for Sunday.  The frigid weather will last at least into Monday, which is the observance of Washington's birthday.

"That's still four or five days out," said NWS forecaster David Glenn, "so (temperatures) might moderate a little before then."

While it might not be a Valentine's forecast to love, we can be happy that we don't live in Boston.

Stay warm and keep the faucets dripping to avoid frozen pipes.

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

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