The NHC forecast track for Irma, (which has been trending further west), currently brings minimal impacts for Eastern NC, per the Friday evening update from the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Newport/Morehead City. Visitors and residents are urged to continue to remain vigilant, however, and to monitor future forecast track changes should they occur.
Long period swells from Irma are expected to lead to a high threat of rip currents through the middle of next week, and rough surf could result in minor erosion and oceanside overwash, especially Sunday through Tuesday.
Strong wind gusts up to 39 mph are also forecast for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands from Sunday night through Monday night. Minor flood inundation of generally 1 foot above ground or less is also possible for the western portions of the Pamlico & Albemarle Sounds, and oceanside locations.
Hurricane Irma is expected to track towards southern Florida over the weekend, making landfall in Florida on Sunday. As of 5 p.m., Irma was located about 345 miles southeast of Miami, Florida, and was moving west at 12 mph with maximum winds of 155 mph. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely to occur during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.
Visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather forecast information covering Eastern NC, and visit the National Hurricane Center at www.nhc.noaa.gov for information on the tropics.
The Island Free Press will continue to monitor Irma and will post updates as soon as they are available.