August 30, 2016
Watching and waiting for TD8 on a partly sunny day
By IRENE NOLAN
of and visitors to Hatteras and Ocracoke islands were watching
and waiting today for the rain to begin and the wind to start howling
as Tropical Depression 8 skirted the islands, perhaps as a minimal
Neither one had happened by dinner time. And, the National Weather
Service says the depression is likely to pull away from the coast
overnight with little or no impact on the islands.
However, it looks as if we will need to keep a close watch on that
other tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico, which could be in our
There were a few showers around today. In Frisco, we had some
brief showers early this morning that totaled .15 of an inch.
After a mostly cloudy late morning, the rest of the day has seen
sunshine on and off and a northeast breeze that is blowing about 10 mph
with a few gusts to 20.
Some visitors had already decided to spend a rainy day shopping and
others went to the beach when the sun started peaking out, although the
ocean was rough and there was a high threat of rip currents.
Television news trucks were buzzing around the island looking for
action, but not finding much to send home for the 6 p.m. news.
The Weather Channel was in Kill Devil Hills, and Weather National was
on Hatteras, along with broadcast stations from Raleigh, Greenville,
Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center issued its 5 p.m. advisory for
Tropical Depression 8, which sounded pretty much like all of the rest
of them for the past day or so.
The Hurricane Center said that satellite images indicated that the depression remained disorganized.
At 5 p.m., the depression was 60 miles south-southeast of Cape
Hatteras, moving north-northeast at 5 mph. Forecasters expect this
general motion to continue into tonight with a turn toward the
northeast forecast on Wednesday.
"Model guidance indicates the system is nearing its closest point of
approach to the Outer Banks," the Hurricane Center said. "We have
elected to continue the Tropical Storm Warning for this advisory, but
this could be lowered tonight if a more consistent motion away from the
coast becomes established.
According to the 5 p.m. update, maximum sustained winds remained near
35 mph with higher gusts. Some strengthening is forecast during
the next 48 hours, and the Hurricane Center said again that the
depression could still become a tropical storm overnight.
The local National Weather Service office in Newport/Morehead City also
downgraded its forecast for impacts on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
"The tropical depression is still forecast to strengthen to a tropical
storm as it approaches and moves away from the N.C. coast," the NWS
office said in its evening briefing. "A Tropical Storm Warning remains
in effect for Carteret, Outer Banks Hyde, and Outer Banks Dare Counties
from Cape Lookout to Oregon Inlet. The Tropical Storm Warning continues
for the adjacent coastal waters from Cape Lookout to Oregon Inlet, and
the Pamlico Sound.
Local NWS forecasters noted these changes with the update:
•The depression is very disorganized and weak, and increasingly looks
like it is going to slowly meander for a while before pulling away from
the coast overnight.
•The storm is not forecast to intensify to a tropical storm until it is likely moving away from the coast.
•Should the forecast hold, impacts across the entire area will be minimal to none.
•Tropical storm warnings will continue for a while longer to be sure
the system does not show signs of strengthening before pulling away
from the coast.
The Weather Service says rainfall forecasts have dropped significantly, though there is
still a chance of a spot or two receiving up to 1 inch of rain in a
short amount of time overnight. The threat of minor flooding of low
lying, poor drainage areas has also decreased significantly.
impacts are forecast to be minimal. Winds are expected to remain below
tropical storm force, and the strongest winds will be offshore.
Little to no impacts are expected from coastal flooding, though water
rises on the Pamlico Sound could be a half foot above normal because of
the persistent north winds, and there might be minor oceanside erosion.
If Tropical Depression 8 does become a named system later tonight or
Wednesday as it pulls away from the Outer Banks, we still don't know
what it will be named -- Hermine and Ian are the next two up on the
Tropical Depression 9 is lingering and disorganized west of Key West,
Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico and is also expected to become a named
storm overnight or tomorrow -- and a much stronger one than TD 8.
TD 9 is forecast to move north and then northeast across northern
Florida and into the Atlantic waters in the next few days. The
storm is then forecast to move northeast along the southeast coast and
be off the Outer Banks as a tropical storm late Friday into early
Saturday. It could be close enough that the Outer Banks could see
some impacts -- at the very least high seas and rip currents and
perhaps more if the storm moves closer to the coast.
The local NWS office says a cold front will cross the Outer Banks on
Thursday into Thursday night with a 50 percent chance of showers.
However, forecasters say there is significant uncertainty for the Outer
Banks on Friday through Saturday as Tropical Depression 9 is expected
to lift northeast out of the Gulf of Mexico along the frontal boundary
off the North Carolina coast as a tropical storm.
Guidance has trended toward taking this system much closer to the coast, which will increase the impacts across the region
"However," forecasters say, "there is still a lot of uncertainty in the
timing, track and strength of this system, so it is still too early to
know what the impacts from wind, storm surge and rainfall may be."
With a leftward shift in the track late today, local forecasters have
increased winds and precipitation chances Friday and Saturday,
but if a track closer the coast persists these "will have to be
increased further, perhaps significantly."
"Either way, expect increased surf with a high rip current risk to continue along the beaches."
To keep up with the latest local forecast, go to www.weather.gov/mhx/.
Click here for the latest local NWS briefing on Tropical Depression 8.
Tropical storm watch upgraded to warning for Hatteras, Ocracoke
Tropical storm watch hoisted for Hatteras, Ocracoke
Tropical depression forms between Bermuda, Outer Banks