Distant swell from Hurricane Sam will bring powerful surf, (including a high risk of rip currents), to all Outer Banks beaches this weekend, including Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands, per a recent update from the National Weather Service Newport / Morehead City office.
While the overall weather for the weekend includes sunshine and highs near 80, the public is advised to check surf and swimming conditions before heading to the beach. The daily beach forecast at www.weather.gov/beach/mhx includes rip current risk levels, and information about other hazards along the shoreline
In early October 2019, distant Hurricane Lorenzo cause the death of four people along the North Carolina coastline during a similar period of nice weather.
Some increase in swells have already started to occur as of Friday afternoon, but the most dangerous conditions on the Outer Banks beaches will be Saturday and Sunday.
As of 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Sam was located about 245 miles southeast of Bermuda.
Sam is moving toward the north near 20 mph (31 km/h), and a turn toward the north-northeast is expected by tonight, followed by a northeastward motion Saturday night through Monday. On the forecast track, the center of Sam will pass well to the east of Bermuda tonight.
Maximum sustained winds are near 150 mph (240 km/h) with higher gusts. Sam is a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Although fluctuations in intensity are still possible, weakening is forecast during the next couple of days. However, Sam is expected to remain a major hurricane through at least Saturday night.
For more information on the local forecast, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for general weather information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead City’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/.