Heavy rains, rip currents, and large surf are likely along the Outer Banks as a low pressure system develops off the Southeast coast over the next couple of days and tracks toward the Carolinas through the weekend.
A high risk of rip currents is forecast for all Outer Banks beaches beginning on Thursday, September 20. A high risk means that the surf zone is dangerous for all levels of swimmers, and beachgoers should stay out of the water.
Long-period swells from Hurricane Nigel in the Central Atlantic will contribute to the dangerous surf zone conditions, and a high risk of rip currents will likely linger throughout the weekend.
Localized heavy rainfall is expected beginning on Friday and continuing until Saturday and possibly Sunday. 4-6″ inches of rainfall is currently forecast for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.
The threat of strong winds and coastal flooding is very dependent on the track and strength of the low pressure system, and minor to moderate coastal flooding and ocean overwash are possible beginning as early as Friday. Wind gusts up to 45 mph are currently forecast through Saturday.
The public should check surf and swimming conditions before heading to the beach, and the daily beach forecast at www.weather.gov/beach/mhx includes rip current risk levels, and information about other hazards along the shoreline. In addition, the public can visit Dare County’s Love The Beach, Respect The Ocean website for current rip current risks and additional info.
Visitors are also encouraged to sign up for text alerts from Dare County, ocean rescue agencies, and the National Weather Service by texting “OBXBeachConditions” to 77295.
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/.