February 16, 2015


Hatteras and Ocracoke likely will
escape most wintry weather


By IRENE NOLAN

Although the National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the area, it appears that the Outer Banks, especially Hatteras and Ocracoke, will escape the brunt of the wintry precipitation.

 A low pressure area will approach the region from the southwest late today and cross the area tonight, then move quickly northeast on Tuesday.

Weather Service meteorologist Scott Kennedy said that the track of the low was still somewhat uncertain this afternoon, though it appears it will most likely track northeast up the Pamlico Sound. That track would confine most of the snow, sleet, and freezing rain to the north and west of Hatteras and Ocracoke.

The precipitation is forecast to begin on the islands this evening, perhaps with some mixed precipitation before it transitions to all rain after midnight, especially south of Oregon Inlet.  However, Kennedy warns, until the temperatures start warming up overnight, the ground will remain cold enough for rain to freeze once it hits the surface.

The Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for Outer Banks Dare County from 5 p.m. today until 4 p.m. on Tuesday.  Again, most of the wintry precipitation should be confined to the northern Outer Banks. The winter weather advisory for Outer Banks Hyde County is in effect from 7 p.m. until midnight, which is similar to what Hatteras Island can expect.

Gusty northwest winds will accompany the frontal passage, though the forecast calls for winds gusting to only 30 or 35, much lower than what the Outer Banks weathered last week. Highest wind gusts approached 70 mph on Tuesday, Feb. 10.  On Saturday night, Feb. 14, gusts of 64 at Oregon Inlet and 56 at Frisco were measured.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said today in a news release that its crews are preparing for winter weather.

Crews in all 14 counties within NCDOT’s Division One were spreading salt brine on all N.C. and U.S. routes and major secondary roads. These counties include Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde, Martin, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington counties. Salt brine is a mix of salt and water used to prevent ice from forming and adhering to road surfaces. Brining operations should be complete this afternoon.

Crews have made sure that equipment, including plows and salt spreaders are ready, and that chainsaws are in proper working order for use in the event of any falling trees due to ice. In areas of the division where precipitation falls as sleet or freezing rain and cannot be plowed, crews will spread salt, as well as sand in some areas.

After temperatures warm up into the upper 30s on Tuesday and Wednesday, we'll be back in the deep freeze on Thursday and Friday after another Arctic cold front crosses the area. Highs are expected to stay below freezing both days with lows in the 20s at night.

The Weather Service advises residents to continue to monitor this system.  For more information and the latest advisories and forecasts, go to http://www.weather.gov/mhx/.

Here is this afternoon's long-range forecast:


REST OF TODAY...MOSTLY CLOUDY. A SLIGHT CHANCE OF SNOW THIS
AFTERNOON. HIGHS IN THE MID 20S...EXCEPT IN THE LOWER 30S SOUTH OF
OREGON INLET. NORTH WINDS 10 TO 15 MPH. CHANCE OF SNOW 20 PERCENT.

TONIGHT...SNOW...SLEET WITH A CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE EVENING...THEN
RAIN AND FREEZING RAIN AFTER MIDNIGHT. LITTLE OR NO SNOW AND SLEET
ACCUMULATION. ICE ACCUMULATION OF UP TO A TENTH OF AN INCH. BLUSTERY
WITH LOWS IN THE MID 20S...EXCEPT AROUND 30 SOUTH OF OREGON INLET.
TEMPERATURE RISING INTO THE MID 30S AFTER MIDNIGHT. EAST WINDS 15 TO
20 MPH. GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH AFTER MIDNIGHT. CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION
NEAR 100 PERCENT.

TUESDAY.....RAIN LIKELY WITH A CHANCE OF FREEZING RAIN IN THE
MORNING...THEN A SLIGHT CHANCE OF RAIN IN THE AFTERNOON. ICE
ACCUMULATION AROUND A TRACE. WINDY. NEAR STEADY TEMPERATURE IN THE
UPPER 30S. NORTHWEST WINDS 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH.
CHANCE OF PRECIPITATION 70 PERCENT.

TUESDAY NIGHT...MOSTLY CLOUDY AND BRISK. LOWS IN THE MID 20S. NORTH
WINDS 15 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH.

WEDNESDAY...PARTLY SUNNY AND WINDY. HIGHS IN THE UPPER 30S...EXCEPT
IN THE LOWER 40S SOUTH OF OREGON INLET. NORTHWEST WINDS 20 TO
30 MPH.

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

THURSDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 20S.

THURSDAY NIGHT...PARTLY CLOUDY. COLD WITH LOWS 15 TO 20.

FRIDAY...PARTLY CLOUDY. HIGHS IN THE LOWER 30S.


comments powered by Disqus