March 3, 2016

Coastal storm forecast to bring rainy, windy weather on Friday


A low pressure area is expected to move to just off the southeast coast later today and then strengthen as it moves northeast along the North Carolina coast tonight, deepening overnight and Friday morning before it moves rapidly away from the area by late Friday.

The storm is forecast to bring heavy rain and east winds to the Outer Banks overnight, with the wind shifting to the north and picking up on the backside of the low Friday as the storm moves quickly northeast. 

The north winds on Friday will bring high surf with a threat of minor beach erosion and ocean overwash north of Cape Hatteras. In addition, water levels on the soundside of Hatteras and Ocracoke islands are forecast to rise to 1 to 3 feet above normal.

The National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City has issued a wind advisory for the Outer Banks from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Friday for north winds 25 to 35 with gusts to 50 mph.

There is a storm warning in effect for the coastal waters from  8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Friday for north winds 30 to 40 knots, gusting to 55.  Seas are expected to be 12 to 18 feet north of Cape Hatteras and 5 to 10 feet south of Hatteras.  A large northeast backswell will keep seas elevated through Saturday. There is also a gale warning for the sounds on Friday.

The Weather Service has also issued a coastal flood advisory and a high surf advisory for the Outer Banks.  Both are in effect from 8 a.m. Friday until 7 a.m. Saturday.

Rain is expected to begin after midnight and 1 to 2 inches are possible, with locally higher amounts of up to 3 inches.

The best thing about the Weather Service forecast is the fast movement of the storm -- it will be in and out of here mostly before dark on Friday.

Saturday is forecast to be cool and breezy with high temperatures in the upper 40s.  The warm-up starts on Sunday and extends into the middle of next week with normal or above normal temperatures and dry weather.

For the latest forecasts and updated advisories and/or warnings, go to the Weather Service website at or on the Newport/Morehead City Weather Service Facebook page.

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