Another winter northeaster will bring snow and high winds to the Outer Banks Tuesday into Wednesday.
A winter storm warning is still in effect for the entire Outer Banks, though Hal Austin, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Newport, N.C., said forecasters this afternoon have tweaked the amounts expected.
The southern Outer Banks, including Hatteras and Ocracoke, are forecast to get up to 2 inches of snow, while locations north of Oregon Inlet could get up to 4 to 6 inches.
The snow could begin from the south as early as 8 or 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, but it will be heaviest later Tuesday afternoon and overnight.
A strong Arctic cold front will push offshore this evening. The front will stall offshore and a strong low pressure area will develop along it, which will move northeast Tuesday night into Wednesday.
Temperatures will drop quickly tonight into the upper 20s and low 30s along the Outer Banks, and winds will switch to the north at gale force – 20 to 25 knots with gusts to 40 tonight and up to 25-30 knots on Tuesday. Seas will be about 10 feet for an extended duration.
Earlier forecasts had called for 4 to 8 inches along the Outer Banks, though snowfall amounts are notoriously difficult to predict in storms such as this. A difference of just a few miles in the path of the low pressure area and where the heaviest bands of snow set up can make a huge difference in snowfall.
The N.C. Department of Transportation is taking the forecast seriously. Earlier this afternoon on Hatteras Island, trucks were spreading a brine solution on the road in case there are icy conditions.
Last week, a winter storm dropped about an inch or two of snow and ice on the northern beaches, while Hatteras and Ocracoke just got a dusting of the icy stuff.
However, temperatures have been much below normal for January on the islands.
This most recent cold snap should begin moderating on Thursday with highs in the 60s by the weekend.