October 10, 2018
Michael Expected to Move Quickly
Through Eastern N.C. Starting Thursday
is forecast to move across eastern North Carolina as a tropical storm
beginning on Thursday and continuing into early Friday morning, per the
Wednesday morning briefing from the National Weather Service (NWS)
Newport / Morehead City Office.
Though soundside flooding is a possibility for Hatteras and Ocracoke
islands, the rapid movement of the storm reduces the chances for severe
impacts from heavy rains and flooding.
“This storm is going to move quickly,” said Tony Saavedra of the NWS
Newport / Morehead City Office. “It will take Michael 12-18 hours to
move across the entire state, and the threat for flooding with the
winds will be 1-3 feet above ground level – which is not as much as
we’ve had previously with other storms.”
“The winds will also switch rather quickly from easterly to southwest,
and maximum winds are expected to be around 38 mph, with [gusts]
possibly up to 55 mph,” he added.
There have been local concerns that Michael may have a similar path to
Hermine, which caused excessive soundside flooding in southern Hatteras
Island, however a northern track will likely have different results.
“Hermine passed to the south of us, while this storm is [likely]
passing north, so you will have winds from a totally different
direction. The main winds from this storm will be coming off the
ocean,” said Saavedra.
Currently, 1 to 1.5 inches of rain is forecast for Hatteras and
Ocracoke islands, with NWS noting in their Wednesday morning briefing
that these rainfall amounts are not expected to cause widespread issues.
Michael is currently a Category 4 storm and is expected to hit the
Florida panhandle on Wednesday. From there, Michael is forecast to
accelerate as it moves northeast through the Carolinas, diminishing in
strength to a tropical storm.
Dare and Hyde Counties remain under a tropical storm watch, and
residents and visitors are advised to prepare now before the rain and
winds arrive tomorrow, per Dare County Emergency Management. A high rip
current risk remains in effect for the Outer Banks, and will likely be
in place for the rest of the week.
For more information, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather forecast info, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead City’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/.