A fall sunset from the Hatteras Inlet ferry. Photo: P. Vankevich

By Peter Vankevich

Mild weather Saturday and today (Oct. 2) will only be a bit of a break from what is headed to the Outer Banks.

Following a few days of stormy weather brought on by the impact of Tropical Storm Ian colliding with a cold front in our area, the National Weather Forecast Service out of Newport/Morehead City has issued a warning that a low pressure is forecast to develop off the Mid-Atlantic coast Monday and could persist into Wednesday.

The forecast includes widespread minor to locally moderate sound side flooding adjacent to Pamlico and Albemarle sounds from Duck to Ocracoke.

A Coastal Flood Watch has been issued for Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands from 8 a.m. Monday until 8 p.m. Tuesday, and residents and visitors in low-lying areas should monitor forecasts closely for the next several days.

The system will produce rough surf, minor beach erosion and dangerous marine conditions with gale force winds and seas 10 to 15 feet. Temperatures will drop to the low 60s and upper 50s.

A high risk for rip currents already in effect, will continue north of Cape Lookout.

Moderate to major ocean side flooding is expected along the Outer Banks, especially north of Cape Hatteras. This could bring overwash onto the vulnerable areas of NC 12 that are already stressed due to the still high-water levels. High astronomical tides will likely contribute to the overwash.

The hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, has picked up pace since Sept. 1 with the arrival of four hurricanes in the last two weeks. Fiona devastated the Canadian maritime provinces and was one of the worst storms in its history. Ian, which intensified rapidly to just shy of a Category 5 hurricane before hitting the southwest Florida coast, will be the most damaging and costly hurricane in Florida’s history.

The National Hurricane Center is tracking some storm activity out in the Atlantic that may develop in the next week or so into tropical depressions. Julia will be the name of the next tropical storm.

NCDOT crews on Ocracoke clear sand off the north end of N.C. 12 and likely will be doing so on Monday and Tuesday. NCDOT reports that NC12 remains open and accessible on Hatteras Island although still with sand and standing water in several locations. Photo: C. Leinbach
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