Nor'easter next week primarily a threat to North Carolina

By Dr. Jeff Masters
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Published: 2:54 PM GMT on November 15, 2012

A complex series of low pressure systems will affect the U.S. coast near North Carolina through early next week, and a powerful Nor'easter is expected to develop off the North Carolina coast on Monday, then move northeastwards out to sea. The storm will be too far from coastal areas of New Jersey and New York hard-hit by Sandy to cause more than minor coastal flooding, thankfully. However, high winds, heavy rain, and coastal flooding are expected to affect the coast of North Carolina beginning on Saturday, with the peak winds and greatest coastal flooding likely to occur on Sunday and Monday. Minor to moderate flooding will occur along much of the Northeast North Carolina coast, and coastal Highway 12 that connects the Outer Banks to the mainland will probably be cut. Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Outer Banks of North Carolina in late October, causing $13 million in damage. Sandy weakened or wiped out the protective dunes along a long section of coast, and caused significant damage to coastal Highway 12. As a result, all it takes is a high tide to cause overwash on this vital artery. The road was closed on Tuesday due to overwash during the high tide cycles, and requires a 4-wheel-drive vehicle to navigate it due to the extensive damage it has suffered over the past two weeks. Residents of the Outer Banks must take a 2-hour ferry ride to get to the mainland when Highway 12 is cut.


Figure 1. Coastal Highway 12 in North Carolina, which connects the Outer Banks to the mainland, as seen at 5:43 pm EST on Tuesday, November 13, 2012, near Rodanthe. Hurricane Sandy wiped out most of the protective dunes along the coast, allowing the ocean to directly pound the road during high tide. Image credit: North Carolina DOT.

All quiet in the Atlantic
The Atlantic is quiet, with no threat areas to discuss. None of the reliable computer models is predicting formation of a tropical cyclone during the coming seven days.

Jeff Masters

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About The Author
Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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Nor'easter next week primarily a threat to North Carolina

A complex series of low pressure systems will affect the U.S. coast near North Carolina through early next week, and a powerful Nor'easter is expected to develop off the North Carolina coast on Monday, then move northeastwards out to sea. The storm will be too far from coastal areas of New Jersey and New York hard-hit by Sandy to cause more than minor coastal flooding, thankfully. However, high winds, heavy rain, and coastal flooding are expected to affect the coast...

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