GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Lee’s projected track has stayed largely unchanged over the past several days. Forecast models continue to keep the center of the storm about 400 miles off Cape Hatteras from today into tomorrow. Rip current threats for all area beaches are already high and will remain so through Friday, potentially into Saturday along the Outer Banks. A High Surf Advisory is in effect until 6:00 p.m. Friday with waves of 9-13 feet likely along the beaches. Parts of the Outer Banks could see ocean over wash and minor coastal flooding with strong sustained north winds Thursday and Friday. Wind gusts will peak from 30-40 mph across the Outer Banks.
Coastal Flood Warning: The warning will be in effect from the Outer Banks southward to Cape Lookout from 4:00 p.m. Thursday through 12:00 p.m. Saturday. Ocean-side water level rises of 2 to 4 feet above ground level will be possible at times. The greatest risk will come near Friday’s high tides around 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Ocean over wash along highway 12 will be likely along a few locations.
Coastal Flood Advisory: The advisory will be in effect from Cape Lookout southward through coastal Onslow County as well as the lower Neuse River basin from 4:00 p.m. Thursday through 8:00 p.m. Friday. Water level rises of 1 to 2 feet above ground level will be possible at times.
As of the 11 a.m. Thursday update, Lee remains a category 2 hurricane. Maximum sustained winds are at 90 mph and gusts up to 115 mph as Lee heads to the north at 9 mph. Impacts from Lee will only be felt along the coast, similar to what we saw with Hurricane Franklin earlier in the season. Beaches will continue to see high surf and high rip current threats, but the rain and wind will be too far offshore to have any noticeable effect on Eastern NC.
If you are planning to travel to the Crystal Coast or Outer Banks this week, please avoid the water. Rip currents are narrow channels of water, that flow away from the main shoreline. If you are caught in a rip current, it is important to remain calm and swim parallel to shore. Never swim against a rip current!
Margot remains a category 1 storm and is forecast to weaken back to a tropical storm by the end of the week. The storm has winds at 80 mph and is moving to the north-northeast at 6 mph. The hurricane will head slowly northward over the next few days before doing a quick loop Friday-Saturday. The loop will keep Margot centered over the deep Atlantic. It will have no impact on the U.S.
As for the other area we’re watching, we’re close to having Nigel. Chances of development are up to 90% within the next two days. While worth watching, we’re expecting this system to curve back out in the Atlantic before reach Bermuda, so no impacts are expected for the US. We’ll be keeping a close eye on it just in case.
Stay with WITN and WITN.COM as we track the remaining name storms this hurricane season.