May 29, 2016

Tropical Depression Bonnie will hang around for a while 


Weak and short-lived Tropical Storm Bonnie made landfall in South Carolina this morning and was downgraded back to a tropical depression by the National Hurricane Center, but the storm will move very slowly in the coming days.

The remnants of Bonnie are forecast to hang around South Carolina for another day or so before the depression starts moving slowly northeast up the North Carolina coast toward the Outer Banks. The result will be a threat of showers and thunderstorms for the Outer Banks right through Thursday until an approaching cold front finally kicks what's left of Bonnie out to sea late in the week.

The area of disturbed weather near the Bahamas for much of last week didn't become a tropical depression until late Friday afternoon when it's winds were 35 mph.  The National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Storm Bonnie late Saturday afternoon when the winds were just 40 mph.  This morning, after landfall, Bonnie became a depression again, and it's forecast to be extra-tropical -- just a plain old low pressure system -- by the time it gets to our area around mid-week.

So far, visitors to the Outer Banks have escaped most of the rain that was  expected for the seashore early in the holiday weekend as forecasters dropped the chances of showers both yesterday and today.  Both days have been mostly sunny and hot -- good beach weather.  Today there have been spotty, brief tropical downpours, but so far, no widespread rain along the coast.

However, forecaster Shane Kearns with the National Weather Service in Newport/Morehead City says that will probably change tonight and tomorrow.

After midnight tonight, the rain coverage will be more widespread -- up to a 70 to 75 percent chance, he said, and a 60 percent chance tomorrow for Memorial Day. The chances will continue to drop but the showers will hang around most of the week with chances at about 50 percent Tuesday, 40 percent Wednesday, and 30 percent Thursday.

The weather will also be warm and humid -- as daytime temperatures continue around 80 and nighttime lows stay in the lower 70s.

Winds will be predominately south to southeast at 10 to 15 knots with gusts to 20, and the National Weather Service has issued a small craft advisory south of Oregon Inlet  until 2 p.m. on Monday for seas up to 6 feet.

There is a high threat of rip currents along the Outer Banks beaches today, and the threat is likely to remain for several more days.

To keep up with the latest local forecast during the holiday weekend, go to the local Weather Service website at

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