Ocracoke Inlet to Cape Lookout, NC out 20 NM Marine Forecast
|Tonight...Sw Winds 10 To 15 Kt, Becoming W 5 To 10 Kt Late. Seas 2 To 3 Ft. Dominant Period 6 Seconds. Adjacent Sounds And Rivers A Moderate Chop, Diminishing To Light Chop Late.|
|Sat...W Winds 5 To 10 Kt, Becoming Sw In The Afternoon. Seas 2 To 3 Ft. Dominant Period 6 Seconds. Adjacent Sounds And Rivers Light Chop. A Slight Chance Of Showers.|
|Sat Night...S Winds 10 To 15 Kt. Seas 3 To 4 Ft. Dominant Period 6 Seconds, Decreasing To 3 Seconds After Midnight. Adjacent Sounds And Rivers A Moderate Chop. A Slight Chance Of Showers In The Evening, Then A Chance Of Showers After Midnight.|
|Sun...S Winds 15 To 20 Kt, Increasing To 20 To 25 Kt In The Afternoon. Gusts Up To 30 Kt. Seas 4 To 6 Ft, Building To 5 To 8 Ft In The Afternoon. Dominant Period 4 Seconds. Adjacent Sounds And Rivers Choppy, Increasing To Rough In The Afternoon. A Slight Chance Of Tstms. A Chance Of Showers In The Morning, Then Showers In The Afternoon.|
|Sun Night...S Winds 25 To 35 Kt, Becoming Sw After Midnight. Gusts Up To 45 Kt. Seas 9 To 12 Ft, Building To 9 To 14 Ft After Midnight. Adjacent Sounds And Rivers Very Rough. Showers With A Slight Chance Of Tstms.|
|Mon...Nw Winds 20 To 25 Kt With Gusts Up To 35 Kt, Diminishing To 15 To 20 Kt With Gusts Up To 25 Kt In The Afternoon. Seas 7 To 10 Ft, Subsiding To 5 To 7 Ft In The Afternoon. Adjacent Sounds And Rivers Rough, Diminishing To Choppy In The Afternoon.|
|Mon Night...N Winds Around 15 Kt. Seas 4 To 6 Ft. Adjacent Sounds And Rivers A Moderate Chop.|
|Tue...N Winds 10 To 15 Kt. Seas 4 To 5 Ft. Adjacent Sounds And Rivers A Moderate Chop.|
|Wed...N Winds 10 To 15 Kt. Seas 3 To 4 Ft. Adjacent Sounds And Rivers A Moderate Chop. Winds And Seas Higher In And Near Tstms.|
| Area Forecast Discussion|
National Weather Service Newport/Morehead City NC
340pm EST Fri Dec 8 2023
High pressure continues to bring light winds and pleasant weather today, gradually moving offshore by Saturday. A strong cold front will cross the region late Sunday bringing strong southerly winds and increased chances of showers and thunderstorms. High pressure then builds back in behind the departing front on Monday bringing fair weather back to ENC next week.
Near Term - Until 6am Saturday Morning
As of 0400pm Fri...High pressure to our south is keeping winds light coming from the S/SW. Temperatures are currently in the high 50s to low 60s, with mid 50s along the OBX, and should remain that way over the next few hours until we start to cool down. Cirrus deck has gotten thicker and will continue to thicken and lower through the day. Coastal trough will start to develop tonight into early Saturday morning, but any resultant precipitation is expected to remain offshore going into Saturday with persistent southwesterly flow. Thicker cloud cover is likely to develop by daybreak on Saturday, especially along the coast and OBX.
Short Term - 6am Saturday Morning Through 6pm Saturday
As of 0200pm Fri... Upper level ridge remains over the Eastern Seaboard on Saturday, however at the surface ridging pushes further into the Atlantic and a weak coastal trough will bring cloud cover along the coast and SChc-Chc Probability of Precipitation offshore. With weak southerly flow and WAA (Warm Air Advection - the movement of warm air) continuing, Highs will be above average in the low 70s and upper 60s. Trended towards higher temperature guidance west of hwy 17 due to less cloud cover in addition to the WAA. Winds will continue to be light S/SWerly Saturday, ramping up to begin the long term.
Long Term - Saturday Night Through Friday
As of 300am Friday... KEY MESSAGES
1) Cold front to bring heavy rain, strong winds, and possibly a few thunderstorms Sunday/Sunday night
2) Turning cold and dry next week
The main focus in the long term period continues to be the strong cold front that is forecast to move through the length of the US East Coast Sunday/Sunday night. This front will move through the region as a potent shortwave lifts northeast across the Southeast US/Mid-Atlantic States. Of note, ensemble guidance have trended a bit stronger with this wave which, at minimum, could support stronger large-scale forcing.
By Saturday night, a tightening pressure gradient will lead to an increasing southerly flow, with an uptick in moisture advection into the coastal Carolinas. With increasing WAA, this may allow a chance of showers to work inland through the night. Moisture transport will markedly increase on Sunday as the above-mentioned potent s/w approaches from the west, and begins to take on more of a negative tilt. Moisture advection will be aided by an anomalously strong SSWerly 50-60kt LLJ straight off the Gulf of Mexico/Western Atlantic. Within this flow, an impressive plume of 1.50"+ PWATs (Precipitable Waters) will surge north through the eastern Carolinas. There will be multiple sources of lift, including strong WAA, a diffluent flow aloft, moderate to strong frontal forcing, and a pre-frontal convergent axis. The combination of moderate to strong lift and anomalous moisture continues to point towards a solid 1-2" of rain areawide. For the most part, guidance has remained consistent with rainfall amounts. However, there continues to be some differences in where the highest amounts will be, and I suspect this is largely driven by where convection factors in (ie. supporting higher rainfall rates). Where convection occurs, rainfall amounts of 2-3" will be possible.
The convective potential remains a forecast and messaging challenge. Despite strong warm/moist advection, lapse rates aloft will be weak, and temps/dewpoints may only top out in the 60s. The southerly flow over the cooler near-shore waters may factor in as well. All-in-all, this points towards a high shear/low CAPE scenario, with instability being a significant limiting factor for a greater severe weather potential. That said, because of the strong winds aloft, even weak convection could help to mix down some of those impressive LLJ winds. The main thunderstorm hazard expected, then, will be wind gusts of 50+ mph. The greater severe threat should stay offshore.
Lastly, the strong kinematics at play, and a strong pressure gradient along/ahead of the front, will support a period of strong winds Sunday afternoon into Sunday night. Probabilistic guidance is giving a 50-70% chance of exceeding 45 mph gusts along the coast, and a Wind Advisory will be needed if these probabilities remain high. Inland, it will be windy as well, but 45 mph probabilities are lower (30-50% chance). Inland, the best chance of seeing 45 mph winds may actually come just behind the front as mixing deepens just prior to the stronger winds aloft shifting away from the area.
Gusty winds will continue into the day Monday, but will gradually subside by late Monday. A dry and colder airmass then moves back in for next week, with a broad area of high pressure overhead.
SHORT TERM /through Saturday/... As of 0400pm Friday... Winds are currently coming from the S/SW, gusting up to 15kts. These conditions will continue until Saturday morning, when wind gusts lessen to sub 10kts, still coming from the S/SW. As the pressure gradient starts tightening Saturday evening, southerly winds start to approach 10G15kts, and will continue to increase going into the long term. Seas are currently 2-4 ft with periods of 10-13 seconds (immediate waters off of Crystal Coast are calmer) and will remain mostly unchanged through Saturday.
Long Term - Saturday night Wednesday: As of 300am Friday... KEY MESSAGES
1) Hazardous marine conditions expected Saturday night into Monday
Boating conditions begin to worsen Saturday night, becoming hazardous Sunday through Monday as a cold front moves through. Ahead of the front, strong southerly Gales will develop, with a few storm force gusts possible over the warmer Gulf Stream waters. Seas will build to 7-14 ft during this time, highest from Cape Hatteras south. Across the cooler waters, winds will be near, or just below, gale force. A Gale Watch has been issued for all coastal waters and the Pamlico Sound Sunday night into Monday morning. Behind the front, gusty northwesterly winds of 20-30kt will continue into Monday morning before gradually laying down. Seas will take some time to lay down, but should fall to 4-6 ft by Monday night or Tuesday. Along the front, widespread showers and scattered thunderstorms are expected. With such strong winds aloft, any shower or thunderstorm will be capable of producing areas of enhanced winds. Over the warmer waters, the showers and thunderstorms will likely be what helps produce occasional storm- force gusts.
NOAA Newport/Morehead City NC Office - Watches - Warnings - Advisories
Gale Watch from Sunday evening through Monday morning for AMZ135(Pamlico Sound). Gale Watch from Sunday evening through Monday morning for AMZ150. Gale Watch from Sunday evening through Monday morning for AMZ152(Oregon Inlet to Cape Hatteras NC)-154-156-158.