February 24, 2015
second coastal storm of the week left 2 inches of snow on Hatteras and
Ocracoke before it turned to freezing rain late this afternoon and
began washing away the white stuff.
Winter Wonderland on the islands is washing away
...WITH SLIDE SHOWS
By IRENE NOLAN
Just as forecast, snow began
falling about mid-morning on the islands. From then until
mid-afternoon, big, fat snowflakes were falling, swirling around enough
in a north-northeast wind to make watching really enjoyable. By
lunchtime, everything was covered in white.
hovered just around freezing most of the day and rose a degree or two
by about 3 p.m. to turn the fat flakes into a funky mix of freezing
precipitation. This evening, there's still something frozen falling,
though it's expected to taper off in a few hours.
third coastal storm this week -- the first brought only cold rain and
wind on Monday -- is expected to march up the coast tomorrow night,
bringing more frozen precipitation. And the islands are getting ready
for a one-two punch of winter weather, somewhat unusual for this time
The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C.,
has issued a winter storm watch for eastern North Carolina, including
Hatteras and Ocracoke, from Wednesday evening into Thursday evening.
"This will be a really tricky forecast for you guys on Hatteras," forecaster Casey Dail said this evening.
area of low pressure is expected to form in the central Gulf of Mexico
Wednesday afternoon and move along the southeast coast Wednesday night
into Thursday. Forecasting models are still divergent, Dail said, and
predicting exactly what kind of precipitation will fall and when is
difficult at this point.
Forecasters are more confident, she
said, in predicting significant snowfall for counties to the north and
west of the coast. The northern Outer Banks could also get more snow
than Hatteras and Ocracoke.
On the islands, Dail said,
confidence in the forecast is lower. However, she ventured that we can
expect most of the wintry stuff from Wednesday night into Thursday
morning. Right now, she said, temperatures are looking to be
slightly warmer along the coast, so we might see more sleet and
freezing rain -- though up to an inch of snow is not out of the
Residents on Hatteras and Ocracoke should continue to check the latest forecasts from the Weather Service at www.weather.gov/mhx/.
and county and Park Service offices closed early today. Some
folks ventured out, especially to take photos, but the snowfall turned
to freezing rain before there were many snowballs packed or snowmen
We get a short sunny and warmer break tomorrow with
partly cloudy skies and highs in the low to mid-40s. Clouds ahead
of the next winter storm will be rolling in by afternoon.
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