UPDATED: Tornado watch in effect for Dare, Currituck counties

High surf, Kill Devil Hills. [Kari Pugh photo]

The National Weather Service has now included Dare County in a tornado watch for parts of eastern North Carolina through midnight tonight.

Strong to severe storms are expected overnight, with high winds for the Outer Banks.


Thunderstorms are expected to roll through the area late Friday night into early Saturday morning, with wind gusts up to 75 mph possible, the possibility of isolated tornadoes, and heavy rain of up to three inches.


A High Wind Warning is posted south of Oregon Inlet and a Wind Advisory north of Oregon Inlet and mainland Dare and Hyde counties.

A High Surf Advisory is in effect from Oregon Inlet south, and there is a High Risk of rip currents along all area beaches on Friday.

There is an amplified tidal event this weekend because of the full moon and lunar perigee, with an enhanced risk of higher and lower than normal tides. Combine that with strong southerly winds, and minor soundside flooding is possible north of Oregon Inlet.

A Storm Warning has been posted for Friday night on the Atlantic Ocean south of Oregon Inlet, and Gale Warning north of the inlet and on the sounds.

Very dangerous seas for all types of vessels are forecast for just offshore of 18 feet or higher Friday night into Saturday, and waves of up to 4 feet on the Pamlico and Albemarle sounds.

Winds will decrease through the day Saturday as the storm pulls away with clearing skies. There is a chance of some afternoon showers on Easter Sunday. Highs both days will be in the upper 60s and lows in the mid 50s.

Monday through Thursday, expect sunny skies and highs around 70. Lows will be be near 60.

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Sam Walker was news director for OBXToday.com, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.