August 31, 2016
Second tropical system in a week forecast for Hatteras, Ocracoke
By IRENE NOLAN
was only yesterday that we were bracing for a minimal tropical system
to brush by Hatteras and Ocracoke, and the day after tomorrow, it looks
like we'll be hunkering down again.
The second time around, we might not be as lucky as we were on Tuesday with only brief showers and a nice breeze.
This evening, the local National Weather Service office in
Newport/Morehead City noted that the National Hurricane Center has
dramatically shifted the path of Tropical Depression 9, which became
Tropical Storm Hermine earlier this afternoon, to the west.
The shift in the track to the west also increases the impacts for the region.
Earlier today, the forecast track was over Florida, into the Atlantic
waters, and up the southeast coast offshore of Cape Hatteras.
The new track with the 5 p.m. advisory keeps the center of the storm
inland as it lifts north of Florida, and that makes some changes to our
forecast here on Hatteras and Ocracoke.
At 5 p.m., the Hurricane Center said that Hermine was 325 miles
south-southwest of Apalachicola, Fla., moving north-northeast at 7 mph.
This motion with an increase in forward speed is expected to continue
through Thursday. On the forecast track, the center will be near
the northwest coast of Florida in the "big bend" area on Thursday
Maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph with higher gusts.
Additional strengthening is forecast during the next 36 hours,
and Hermine could be near hurricane strength by the time it makes
The Hurricane Center says that Hermine will then move north-northeast
inland over northern Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and then North
Carolina. The storm is expected to be somewhere around the North
Carolina-Virginia border, northwest of Hatteras and Ocracoke, by early
The local Weather Service forecasters say that if the storm stays on
the current track, the Outer Banks can expect to experience tropical
storm conditions on Friday night and Saturday.
The local NWS office says that the threat of strong tropical force
winds along the coast has diminished with the new track, but the
forecast wind field has expanded with a large area of minimal tropical
storm force winds from well inland through the coastal waters.
The threat of minor coastal flooding has expanded to the western areas
of the Pamlico Sound, and the threat of tornadoes will increase over
the entire area with the more westward shift of the track.
Forecasters say the Outer Banks remains under a significant heavy rainfall threat.
"Regardless of the exact track, ample amounts of tropical moisture will
be streaming over the area with heavy rains likely for an extended
period of time," according to the latest NWS briefing on Hermine.
The heavy rainfall and possible flash flooding could begin as early as
Thursday evening and continue into the day on Saturday before ending on
Saturday afternoon or evening. Widespread 4 to 7 inch rainfall
amounts will be possible with isolated amounts up to 10 inches.
The prolonged heavy rainfall could result in flash flooding.
NWS forecasters say that despite the inland track, the threat to
mariners remains high. Tropical storm winds are likely and seas
of 10 to 15 feet are possible.
Timing for the strongest sustained winds is now Friday evening through
Saturday morning inland and lingering into evening along the coast.
Minor to moderate impact from winds are possible, with some downed
trees and scattered power outages.
A threat for coastal flooding and beach erosion continues -- especially
soundside Outer Banks as the storm departs. Water level rises
could have minor to moderate impacts. On the oceanside, there will be
water-level rises and large waves resulting in minor beach erosion,
especially on south-facing beaches south of Cape Hatteras.
There will be a high risk for rip currents on all area beaches through
the weekend and dangerous shorebreak on beaches south of Cape Hatteras.
Tropical Depression 8 started pulling away from Cape Hatteras last
evening and all tropical storm warnings for the islands were
dropped. We saw just a few brief showers and a nice breeze for
most of the day on Tuesday, though the ocean remained rough today and
the National Weather Service warned of a high threat of rip currents.
At 5 p.m. this afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said TD 8 was
still hanging on, though somewhat weakened, about 215 miles
east-northeast of Cape Hatteras. Forecasters also say it still might
become a tropical storm, but it won't much matter to us by then.
Before Hermine arrives in our area late Friday, though, the Outer Banks
will see rain that has nothing to do with the tropical system --
first tonight from a warm front moving north-northeast and then
Thursday night from a strong cold front moving through the area.
Once the tropical weather clears out by about Sunday, we should enjoy a
respite with cooler temperatures in the low 80s and lower humidity,
which would be a welcome relief.
There are still tropical disturbances coming off the coast of Africa,
and we're at the height of Atlantic hurricane activity, so keep
watching the forecasts.
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.