A cold front that is forecast to move into the Outer Banks area on Tuesday will bring strong winds, a dramatic drop in temperatures, and a slight risk of soundside flooding from Cape Point to the Down East area of coastal North Carolina, per the National Weather Service (NWS) Newport / Morehead City Office.
Tuesday will start with highs around the mid-60s, but a surge of cold air behind the cold front will create a sharp temperature drop to the low-50s by Tuesday evening. The temps will continue to fall overnight, and will lead to temperatures in the high-30s and low-40s by Wednesday.
15-20 mph southwest winds with stronger gusts are forecast for later tonight, and winds will pick up right behind the cold front on Tuesday as well, with northerly sustained winds of around 25-30 mph and gusts up to 40-45 mph starting Tuesday evening.
Showers are also expected starting on Tuesday, which will continue throughout the night, however, no snow or freezing rain is currently forecast with the approaching cold front.
“Freezing precipitation is not going to be a concern with this particular system, but in terms of coastal flooding, the gale-force northerly winds and higher-than-normal tides will [likely result] in a minor coastal flood threat across the southern Pamlico Sound,” said Morgan Simms, Meteorologist with the NWS Newport / Morehead City office. “The threat will be from Cape Point to the Down East area… Areas north of Hatteras won’t see much on coastal flooding side.”
“The potential flooding inundation is 1 to 1.5 feet [above ground level] at the highest,” he added.
Temperatures will start to warm back up and winds will diminish on Thursday, however, the winter weather could return by the weekend.
“There is the potential for more unsettled weather going into the weekend – Friday into Saturday – which could also bring another round of high winds,” said Simms. “It’s something to keep an eye on.”