430PM: Situation Overview: The center of Hurricane Idalia is currently moving through Georgia; we are starting to see impacts and will continue through the overnight. Here are my latest thoughts.
Tornado Threat: The Storm Prediction Center has placed the southern coast under a level 3/5 risk for Severe Weather today into tonight; the main threats are isolated tornadoes and high winds. The threat will quickly decrease as you move inland; this threat will be mainly confined to the coast. : Looking over the models, the main timing will be between 5PM-2AM
Bottom Line: Stay aware of a couple of isolated tornadoes this evening along the southern coast. I'll be monitoring as well and update as needed. There's no reason to panic; have a way to get warnings and a place to go, and you'll be fine.
Wind: Gusty winds are likely for most of Central and Eastern NC, but the strongest wind gusts of 40-55MPH will be mainly along the coast and beaches. A few down trees and power outages are possible with the greatest threat along the coast, but nothing we can't handle.
Rain: Heavy rain will be on and off all night. 2-6" of rain will be possible, mainly in Eastern/Coastal NC; the rainfall amounts drop quickly as you go west. Flash Flooding is possible in areas that normally flood first; thankfully, the system is moving pretty fast and will help us tremendously.
Storm Surge/Coastal Flooding Inundation along the coast is likely starting today. The latest guidance has increased for some areas; I expect a 1-3FT Surge from Morehead City South to the Brunswick County Beaches. There could be locally higher amounts along the Brunswick Beaches tonight up to 4FT can't be ruled out. The combination of the King Tides, thanks to the full moon and incoming Hurricane Idaila, will cause coastal flooding. The times to watch will be around high tide tonight and in the morning. If you're in an area that normally floods, move your cars to higher ground and prepare for flooding.
Outer Banks and Sounds: The entire Outer Banks has the potential of a 1-3Ft Storm Surge from the Oceanside. Additionally, there will be a soundside surge of 2-5FT from Buxton-Ocracoke, Downeast Carteret, Neuse, Pamlico, and Pungo Rivers. Some areas that could see coastal flooding include for this area is Cherry Branch, Oriental, Cedar Island, New Bern, Bayboro, Lowland, Bath, Washington, Belhaven.
We'll be fine guys! There's no reason to panic; just hunker down, and it'll be all good. There seems to be a lot of panic with this system; trust me, we've seen way worse. The worst of the weather should clear out by mid-morning Thursday; in fact, most of the rain should be gone, too.
The weekend looks great!