February 11, 2015


High winds, heavy seas pound Outer Banks, but
little damage reported....WITH SLIDE SHOW


By IRENE NOLAN

High winds and heavy seas from a coastal storm pounded the Outer Banks for 24 hours -- from Tuesday morning until early this morning -- but little damage and little or no ocean overwash or soundside flooding was reported.

The National Weather Service's official automated observation site on Hatteras at Billy Mitchell Airport measured a top wind gust of 49 mph from the north, but official and unofficial wind gauges elsewhere on the Outer Banks and on Hatteras put the top winds  much higher.

Today, the Weather Service noted a peak wind gust of 68 mph at Manteo, which comes a lot closer to other gauges on Hatteras that measured gusts well over 60 mph.

Most of us hunkered down yesterday and, unless we were in stout buildings or lived in the woods, we listened to our houses cracking and creaking and things bumping and banging around outside. We got used to our houses shaking and shuddering in gusts or swaying in the wind.

One friend posted on Facebook that she intended to take Dramamine before bedtime, and another tracked down some old ear plugs. She found only one plug but said it worked fine with one ear on her pillow and the other plugged.

Thanks to the fine folks at Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, our power never even flickered during yesterday's windstorm, a blessing since the temperatures were in the upper 30s by dark.

However, there was a brief power outage this evening -- less than an hour.  CHEC general manager Susan Flythe said that the outage was caused by a blown fuse at the Pea Island Visitor Center.  Crews reset it and the power was back before we got too chilly.

The N.C. Department of Transportation and Dare County reported that the only overwash was at north Buxton and Kitty Hawk around high tide this morning.  However, blowing sand and wet sand on the road made driving tricky, especially through Pea Island. Foam was blowing over the dunes at some places, but there was no overwash through the refuge, even at the temporary bridge.

Water levels on the Pamlico Sound were higher than normal with the gusty winds, but soundside flooding was not an issue, probably because the winds were more from the north than northwest.

The Rodanthe Pier, which was beat up by a storm in December that shifted the pier and the pilings to the south, was further damaged by the heavy seas yesterday.

Today was windy, cloudy and cool with the temperatures barely budging above 40.

Tomorrow's forecast is for moderating temperatures with highs around 50. However, partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies with a 30 percent chance of rain showers in the afternoon and a chance of snow showers in the evening.

Temperatures will dip into the mid-20s with very gusty winds. Northwest winds 25 to 35 with gusts to 45 are expected -- but nowhere near what they were yesterday.

Another blast of Arctic air will move through on Saturday night with more gusty winds and a chance of snow showers. Temperatures are forecast to drop into the low 20s on Saturday night and rise only into the upper 20s on Sunday.

It might be Tuesday before temperatures are above freezing again.

The forecast for the next seven days from the National Weather Service:

TONIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY...THEN BECOMING PARTLY CLOUDY THIS
EVENING...THEN BECOMING MOSTLY CLEAR. BREEZY WITH LOWS IN THE MID
30S...EXCEPT AROUND 40 SOUTH OF OREGON INLET. NORTH WINDS 15 TO
20 MPH...BECOMING WEST AROUND 10 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT.

THURSDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE MORNING...THEN MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A
CHANCE OF SHOWERS IN THE AFTERNOON. WINDY WITH HIGHS AROUND 50...
EXCEPT IN THE MID 50S SOUTH OF OREGON INLET. SOUTHWEST WINDS 10 TO
15 MPH...INCREASING TO WEST 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH IN
THE AFTERNOON. CHANCE OF RAIN 30 PERCENT.

THURSDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN AND SNOW
SHOWERS IN THE EVENING...THEN MOSTLY CLEAR AFTER MIDNIGHT. VERY
WINDY WITH LOWS IN THE MID 20S...EXCEPT IN THE UPPER 20S SOUTH OF
OREGON INLET. NORTHWEST WINDS 25 TO 35 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 45 MPH.
http://www.weather.gov/mhx/
CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 30 PERCENT.

FRIDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY AND WINDY. COOLER WITH HIGHS IN THE MID 30S.
NORTHWEST WINDS 20 TO 30 MPH...DIMINISHING TO 15 TO 20 MPH IN THE
AFTERNOON.

FRIDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE UPPER 20S. WEST WINDS
AROUND 10 MPH.

SATURDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE MID 40S.

SATURDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. A CHANCE OF SNOW SHOWERS IN THE
EVENING. LOWS IN THE LOWER 20S. CHANCE OF SNOW 30 PERCENT.

SUNDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. COOLER WITH HIGHS IN THE UPPER 20S.

SUNDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. COLD WITH LOWS AROUND 20.

MONDAY. (WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY)...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S.

MONDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY IN THE EVENING...THEN BECOMING MOSTLY
CLOUDY. LOWS IN THE MID 20S.

TUESDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 50 PERCENT CHANCE OF RAIN SHOWERS.
NOT AS COOL WITH HIGHS AROUND 50.

TUESDAY NIGHT...CLOUDY WITH A 40 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS. NOT AS
COOL WITH LOWS IN THE LOWER 40S.

WEDNESDAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY WITH A 50 PERCENT CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
HIGHS IN THE UPPER 40S.

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

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