Rough seas, winds, and a little snow may be headed to the Outer Banks starting on Wednesday, per the Tuesday morning update from the National Weather Service Newport / Morehead City Office.
Confidence is increasing among forecasters for elevated impacts, and a Winter Storm Watch is in effect for most of inland Eastern North Carolina, outside of the Outer Banks.
Locally, Hatteras and Ocracoke islands will see rough seas and strong wind gusts approaching gale strength, which will begin on Wednesday and which will likely last through Thursday. 1-4 inches of snow is possible across eastern North Carolina, with higher amounts away from the coast. Per the Tuesday morning briefing, Hatteras Island is forecast to receive less than one inch of snow, while Ocracoke Island may receive 1-2 inches of snow starting on Wednesday.
Temperatures are expected to remain cold throughout the week, with a brief warming up period on Wednesday. Winds will start to increase beginning on Wednesday as well, with the potential for 20-30 mph winds and strong gusts lasting through Thursday and possibly Friday.
On Tuesday morning, wind chill minimum temperatures for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands were in the single digits, and Dare County Schools were operating on a two-hour delay in response to the freezing temperatures.
Travel conditions may be hazardous beginning on Wednesday, and travelers venturing off island should watch for reduced visibilities and light icing, especially on elevated roads and bridges. As of Tuesday morning, hazardous travel conditions were expected in most of Eastern North Carolina, outside of the immediate Outer Banks.
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.