September 11, 2018


Surfers Take Advantage of Surf before Florence Approaches
....WITH SLIDE SHOW

By JAY PHILLIPS


There were good waves on Monday on Hatteras Island, especially on the northern side of Buxton.  With Florence 900 miles away from the coast earlier in the week, there was an amazingly powerful ground swell building since Saturday.

Weather on Hatteras Island was close to 90 degrees for the last several days with little wind other than a light sea breeze forming near noon each day, which is ideal for some epic surfing, when coupled with an intensifying offshore storm.

Conditions were very similar in 1991 as the "No Name" storm (later called The Perfect Storm) pushed powerful waves down the Eastern Seaboard for almost 10 days.

By 10 a.m. on Monday, Dare County dismissed public schools followed by a mandatory evacuation announcement. The morning high tide receded, sapping a little energy from the waves, but not before washing over the dune barrier in several areas along the Island weakened by previous storms.

Tuesday brought solid surfing conditions again as the ground swell from Florence grew, with the help of an easterly breeze wedged in between Florence and the Coast until Wednesday, when the first sign of gradient North-easterlies start effecting the Island in the morning. 

If the forecasts are on target, a NE breeze will build as the eye of Florence approaches the Southern Outer Banks.  Escaping the Island as the wave conditions mount and push water over the roads during high tides might be a problem on Wednesday, especially for small non-4WD vehicles. 

Thursday evening, the eye wall is forecast to approach south of Hatteras Island, which will keep the winds blowing in a north-northeast direction.  Windfinder shows hurricane force winds affecting the islands by 5 p.m. on Thursday. 

Tuesday was likely the last chance for taking advantage of the swell. As of Tuesday morning, the forecast is for the storm to stall between Thursday night and Sunday night..... which could be 72 hours of havoc and unpredictability.  Prayers are for it to stall prior to reaching land Thursday night.  Tides for Tuesday at Oregon Inlet were 9:42 a.m. High Tide and 3:54 p.m. Low Tide. Keep in mind that high water significant slows traffic.

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