Heavy rains, high winds will batter
the beaches through the weekend
By IRENE NOLAN
now appears that there is no end to the torrential rains, high winds,
and heavy seas that are battering the Outer Banks until the end of the
The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., says that the
combination of a strong high pressure to the north and low pressure to
the south will result in gusty northeast winds and large breaking waves
into the weekend.
This morning, the Weather Service extended the coastal flood advisory
and the high surf advisory until 8 p.m. Sunday for areas north of Cape
The persistent northeast flow, forecasters say, will result in minor
beach erosion and coastal flooding, along with dangerous shorebreak and
a high threat of rip currents north of Cape Hatteras. These
conditions are also sending the ocean surging over south-facing beaches.
The stormy conditions are also arriving during a period of higher than
normal meteorological tides, caused by Sunday night's full moon, which
is a "supermoon." Water levels along the oceanfront are expected to be
pushed to 2 to 3 feet above normal.
NWS meteorologist Brian Cullen said earlier today that forecasters are
especially concerned about Saturday night, when wind gusts will be at
their highest along the Outer Banks during the high tide, which is at
about 7 p.m.
Breaking waves of 6 to 9 feet are expected along the Hatteras and
Ocracoke beaches, although the marine forecast calls for seas from 11
to 15 feet north of Oregon Inlet.
The wind, which has been gusty from the northeast for a week or more,
let up some yesterday and today, but is expected to increase again
tomorrow as the low moves closer to Cape Hatteras. Winds of 30 to
35 mph with gusts over 40 are possible Saturday afternoon and night.
Currently, a gale warning has been issued for area waters north of
Ocracoke and for the Pamlico Sound. Winds of 20 to 30 knots with
gusts over 40 knots are expected with seas from 9 to 14 feet on the
The Weather Service says there is a possibility that advisories will be
upgraded later tonight or tomorrow to a wind advisory and a coastal
Heavy rain will continue tonight, tomorrow and tomorrow night.
Two inches of rain fell at Billy Mitchell Airport in Frisco on
Thursday, and it's been coming down steady all day on Hatteras and
Ocracoke. Periods of heavy to moderate rain will continue with an
additional 1 to 3 inches possible with locally heavier amounts.
Highway 12 remains open, with ponding of the water and sand on the
highway in places. Travelers over the weekend should check the
If there are any closures or serious issues along Highway 12 or other
local roads while the system is along the coast, NCDOT says they will
be posted on the Traveler Information page for Dare County at
The gusty winds and heavy rain are also affecting ferry schedules. For
the latest updates on ferry routes, check out the NCDOT Ferry Division
Twitter feed at www.twitter.com/ncdot_ferry
For the latest updates and advisories, go the local Weather Service website at www. www.weather.gov/mhx.
The nasty weather is expected to lift northeast away from the Outer
Banks on Sunday into Monday, and the forecast for early next week is for
sunnier and drier conditions.