September 22, 2015
Gusty winds forecast to bring heavy surf, rip currents The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., today issued a high surf advisory for the Outer Banks from Cape Hatteras north.
By IRENE NOLAN
Forecasters at the NWS say that a high pressure to the north of the
Outer Banks and an area of low pressure southeast of Cape Hatteras will
combine to cause gusty northeast winds and building seas today,
tomorrow, and perhaps into Thursday.
The persistent onshore flow will result in dangerous shorebreak, a high
threat of rip currents, and a threat of minor beach erosion on
Surf heights of 6 to 9 feet are forecast, and the large breaking waves will be dangerous for anyone entering the water.
Rip currents are powerful, channeled currents of water flowing away
from shore. They typically extend from the shoreline, through the surf
zone, and past the line of breaking waves. Rip currents can occur at
any beach with breaking waves.
Rip currents are the number-one public safety risk on beaches in the United States, according to the National Weather Service.
Swimmers are advised to use extreme caution and to never try to swim
directly back into shore against a rip current. As illustrated in
the graphic on this page, people should swim parallel to shore and
then, when past the pull of the rip current, head back into the beach.
The most likely time for rip currents will be a few hours either side
of low tide, which is at 9 p.m. tonight and around 9 a.m. Wednesday
In addition, there is a 40 to 60 percent chance of showers all week.
The National Hurricane Center is keeping an eye on the non-tropical
area of low pressure that has persisted off the southeast coast since
last week. It is producing disorganized showers and
thunderstorms, but upper-level winds are forecast to be marginally
conducive for development.
The Hurricane Center is giving this system a low chance -- 20 percent
-- of acquiring some tropcial or subtropical characteristics as it
moves westward over the next five days.
Forecasting models differ significantly on when the nasty weather will
clear out. One model has it moving offshore on the weekend with
north to northwest winds behind a front contributing to calmer
seas. Another model is forecasting that the onshore flow will
continue, and perhaps increase, over the weekend.
Continuing gusty northeast winds through the weekend could be a concern
with higher than normal astronomical tides expected during the period.
Sunday night, Sept. 27, is the full moon, which will be a larger than normal "Supermoon."
To keep up with the latest forecasts and advisories, go to the local Weather Service website at www.weather.gov/mhx.