Dare County Emergency Management advises residents and visitors to closely monitor the weather as portions of the Outer Banks are expected to experience severe weather later today, with coastal flooding, possible ocean overwash, beach erosion and hazardous marine conditions beginning Friday and lasting throughout the weekend.
The severe weather could include thunderstorms, isolated tornadoes, damaging winds and large hail, with the strongest storms expected to affect the Outer Banks beginning around 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 18 and lasting through the evening.
A strong cold front is forecast to push across the region on Friday, bringing strong northerly winds with gusts of up to 45-50 mph that have the potential to cause damage to buildings and trees, as well as potential power outages.
These strong winds could also lead to minor to moderate coastal flooding, with 1-3 feet of above-ground inundation for soundside portions of the Outer Banks and tidal tributaries possible, as well as ocean overwash across parts of the northern Outer Banks.
The National Weather Service at Newport/Morehead City has issued a Coastal Flood Watch for eastern North Carolina that is in effect through 5 a.m. on Saturday, March 20. Also in place is a Wind Advisory and a Gale Warning. The National Weather Service at Newport/Morehead City will issue its next briefing at 5 p.m. today.
With the severe weather threat, everyone should ensure they have multiple ways to receive weather watches and warnings issued by the National Weather Service. Dare County Emergency Management encourages everyone to have a NOAA weather radio turned on and wireless emergency alerts enabled on their mobile devices to receive National Weather Service alerts. To ensure you are able to take action when warnings are issued, keep your mobile device plugged in with the volume up and near your bed overnight.
To receive the latest emergency alerts issued by Dare County, visit www.DareNC.com/Alerts to sign up for OBXAlerts. Select the National Weather Service-issued “WARNINGS” and “WATCHES” list to receive these weather service products via OBXAlerts.
For the most up-to-date weather information on this severe weather outbreak, visit the National Weather Service at Newport/Morehead City at www.weather.gov/mhx. For updated information regarding road conditions on N.C. Highway 12, follow the North Carolina Department of Transportation on Facebook at www.facebook/ncdot, on Twitter @NCDOTNC12 or visit drivenc.gov.