Dare County was placed under a Winter Storm Warning on Tuesday afternoon, which is in effect from 3 p.m. on Wednesday until 1 p.m. on Thursday. A Winter Storm Warning means that severe winter weather conditions are expected in the immediate future.
Winter storm conditions are now forecast to start with rain tomorrow afternoon, which could potentially turn into snow overnight, and which will continue into Thursday morning.
Heavy snow should be expected inland and in the northern Outer Banks, with the potential for 2-3 inch accumulations north of Oregon Inlet. Locally, on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands, less than an inch of snowfall is currently forecast. Strong winds and rough seas are also expected throughout the Outer Banks.
With the cold saturated surface conditions already in place, travel may become hazardous, especially on elevated surfaces and bridges, even when temperatures are above freezing during periods of rain. Plan on wintry travel conditions, including during the morning commute on Thursday.
It was also announced on Tuesday afternoon that Dare County Schools will be on an early release schedule (3 hours) tomorrow Wednesday, January 3, 2017. All afterschool activities will also be canceled.
This weather system will move past the area quickly, but with cold temperatures forecast into the weekend, impacts may linger until the area sees a consistent warming trend. As of now coastal flooding, is not expected for Hatteras and Ocracoke islands.
For more information, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather forecast information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead City’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/.
The Island Free Press will continue to post updates on the potential storm and future snowfall as soon as they are available.