A strong low pressure area off the mid-Atlantic coast will deepen this evening and tonight, sending bitter cold air, strong northwest winds, and perhaps a dusting of snow into Hatteras and Ocracoke.
The National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., has posted a winter weather advisory, a wind advisory, and a coastal flood advisory for the area.
Today’s balmy 60 degrees will quickly become a memory as a cold front moves through the area early this evening. Temperatures will start dropping rapidly, falling to below freezing overnight and probably not getting to get to the freezing mark on Wednesday.
Precipitation will probably start as rain showers this evening and will change to snow overnight. The winter weather advisory calls for up to an inch of snow, but it will be lighter – with perhaps just a dusting on the southern Outer Banks.
Winds will also pick up this evening and switch from southwest to northwest. Winds of 25 to 35 with gusts to 45 have been forecast for tonight into tomorrow morning.
The winds will cause water to pile up on the soundside of Hatteras and Ocracoke – perhaps as much as 2 feet above normal.
The temperatures may moderate on Thursday, getting above freezing, but the cold air will be reinforced by another “clipper” frontal system that will keep temperatures will below normal into the weekend.
The normal temperature for Hatteras Island this time of year is a high of 52 and a low of 39.
For more weather information on the Outer Banks, go to http://www.erh.noaa.gov/er/mhx/.