8.24.11 12:15 PM
What a beautiful morning on Hatteras Island! No signs of Irene here, but it appears the projected path has remained the same and the storm is still headed our way. Over the past two days there has been a continuous trend of guidance to shift this storm to the right. Most of the guidance is now offshore of the NC coast with only a couple making landfall on the Outer Banks and the rest offshore.It's expected intensity and slow approach from the south should still pile up water on the west side of Pamlico Sound and along the beach with model guidance indicating near 50 foot seas offshore as Irene comes north. Even with its more offshore approach than before there should be significant high water and flooding west portions. Its exact path and its intensity becomes very critical as it comes by the Outer Banks Saturday night. As it comes by, winds will come around to the North and Northwest and bring a strong surge of soundside water over Hatteras Island. Expect sound side flooding...which could be very serious if the system is in close. We will have to watch the trend of its current movement and any model guidance trend.
Close in track? Remember Emily and 1944. Farther offshore? Maybe not so bad. As close as current model guidance is now and as strong as it is, I would lean toward significant soundside flooding and high winds over the Outer Banks. We do expect to see some ocean overwash, soundside flooding, rain, and heavy winds. We will continue to keep you updated as Irene approaches and will provide you with live coverage via You Tube videos as signs of a storm increase.
If you are staying on the Island, we suggest you begin preparations for when an evacuation is declared. Ocracoke Island will be evacuating today. The Hatteras Island Rescue Squad has issued a High Threat of Rip Currents and asks that visitors use caution and advise swimmers to stay out of the water.Hurricane Advisory