Monday, January 20, was by far the coldest day of the New Year with temperatures hovering in the mid-30s, and as a result, islanders were treated to a brief but very rare event for the southern Outer Banks – an intermittent scattering of snow flurries.
Snow was reported in the northern Outer Banks communities of Nags Head, Manteo, Kill Devil Hills, and Kitty Hawk early Monday morning, but by Monday afternoon, the snow had infiltrated Hatteras Island as well, with a brief but welcome scattering of snowflakes that began late in the morning and which continued throughout the day.
Ironically, Hatteras Island recently recorded three consecutive days of record high temperatures at the Billy Mitchell Airfield in Frisco from January 10 through January 12, where temperatures have been recorded since 1893. On January 12 of this year, the observed high of 72 degrees broke the previous record of 71 from 1995 and 1972, and on January 11, the observed high of 71 degrees broke the previous record of 70 from 2014.
Colder weather is expected to continue through the middle of the week, with temperatures in the high 30s and low 40s forecast for Tuesday and early Wednesday. Per the National Weather Service Newport / Morehead City office, temperatures will eventually rise to the high 50s by the start of the weekend.
While no accumulation of snow is expected from the colder days ahead, due to the strong northeast winds in the forecast, a Gale Watch is in effect until 9 a.m. on Wednesday, and a Small Craft Advisory is in effect until 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
For more information on the local forecast, visit www.weather.gov/mhx for weather information, or the National Weather Service office in Newport / Morehead City’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NWSMoreheadCity/.