Updated: Overwash and beach erosion possible as coastal low forms offshore

Wind and waves were kicking up on Tuesday evening off Kill Devil Hills. [Kari Pugh photo]

An area of low pressure forming along the southeast U.S. coast will move off the Mid Atlantic coast Wednesday and remained stalled through Saturday.

This will bring a prolonged period of strong north winds and large surf along the North Carolina coast, with potential overwash and beach erosion issues from Corolla to Buxton.

The National Hurricane Center is also monitoring the low because it could potentially become a subtropical system.

“There remains uncertainty in the details with this system and will ultimately depend on the strength of the low and where it decides to stall,” said Scott Kennedy, a forecaster with the Newport/Morehead City National Weather Service office.

A cold front crossed the Outer Banks on Tuesday, bringing the first significant chance of rain since mid-September, with a few spotty showers through the afternoon.

After the front clears the area, the coastal low is expected to form on Wednesday, gaining strength as it moves northeastward.

According to the National Weather Service briefing updated Tuesday afternoon, winds on Wednesday will be from the north-northeast at 15 to 25 mph, with gusts 30 to 35 mph.

On Thursday and Friday, winds will shift to the north-northwest before slowly diminishing Friday night and Saturday.

Seas will run between 10 to 14 feet north of Cape Hatteras and 5 to 8 feet south through Friday, and then gradually subside through the weekend.

Moderate to major beach erosion and minor to moderate dune and beach erosion with possible ocean overwash, especially north of Cape Hatteras starting Wednesday.

The most likely time of overwash would be around high tide, which will be at 5:56 a.m. and 6:09 p.m. Wednesday at Oregon Inlet. Thursday’s high tides are at 6:40 a.m. and 6:50 p.m.

Confidence is increasing that any soundside flooding will be limited to minor water rises along southern areas of the Pamlico Sound.

A few scattered showers could spin onshore from the system Wednesday through Friday, before the system starts pulling away by the weekend and the winds and waves subside.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.

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