UPDATED: Tropical Storm Warning in effect for the Outer Banks

Storm surge flooding at Horseshoe Beach, Florida as Elsa made landfall about 50 miles north on July 7, 2021. [image courtesy dixie.weatherstem.com]

UPDATED, Thursday, 1 a.m. A tropical storm warning is now in effect for the Outer Banks from late Thursday morning through early Friday morning.

UPDATED, Wednesday 6 p.m. After making landfall earlier today in northwest Florida, Tropical Storm Elsa has lost some of its wind strength as it moves closer to eastern North Carolina.

The latest forecast takes Elsa through North Carolina as a tropical depression on Thursday, with the center moving through the middle of the state. A tropical storm watch remains in effect for all of eastern North Carolina.

Heavy rainfall of up to three inches with localized flash flooding, isolated tornadoes, gusty winds up to tropical storm strength, as well as high surf and dangerous rip currents should be expected.

In addition, minor water level rises of up to 2 feet above ground along the soundside portions of the Outer Banks could occur.

More from Dare County Emergency Management’s press release issued Wednesday morning:

Residents and visitors are encouraged to stay abreast of changing weather conditions and to be ready to take action to protect themselves and their property. Protective actions may include avoiding travel during periods of heavy rain and high winds, not driving through flood waters or parking vehicles in areas that could flood. Stay informed of hazardous weather conditions by enabling government alerts and keeping mobile devices turned on to ensure receipt of National Weather Service alerts.

For up-to-date weather information, visit the National Weather Service at Newport/Morehead City at www.weather.gov/mhx. For updated information regarding road conditions on N.C. Highway 12, follow the North Carolina Department of Transportation on Facebook at www.facebook/ncdot, on Twitter @NCDOTNC12 or visit drivenc.gov.

In addition to ensuring mobile devices have government alerts enabled, Dare County Emergency Management encourages residents and visitors to sign up to receive emergency alerts—including severe weather watches and warnings, public safety and emergency-related warnings, and other time-critical notifications—by visiting www.OBXAlerts.com.  Those that sign up can choose delivery methods to include email, phone call and text messages.  For those that only want to receive alerts from Dare County Emergency Management as text messages, you can opt-in by texting DareEmergencyAlerts to 77295.

For more information on preparedness actions you can take to protect yourself and your property during storms this hurricane season, visit www.DareNC.com/Hurricanes.

Elsa became a tropical storm on July 1, the earliest ever for the fifth named tropical cyclone of the year to form in the Atlantic, breaking the record set in 2020 by Eduardo. It has since reached hurricane status twice, most recently Tuesday night as it moved past Tampa Bay.

National Weather Service forecast for Nags Head, as of Wednesday 6 p.m.:

Tonight
Increasing clouds, with a low around 76. Southwest wind 11 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 24 mph.
Thursday
A chance of showers and thunderstorms, then showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm after 4pm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 83. South wind 9 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Thursday Night
Tropical storm conditions possible. Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rainfall. Low around 77. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Friday
Showers likely and possibly a thunderstorm before 8am, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 88. Southwest wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Friday Night
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. South wind 7 to 10 mph, with gusts as high as 15 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Saturday
A chance of showers and thunderstorms, mainly after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 88. Chance of precipitation is 30%. New rainfall amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, except higher amounts possible in thunderstorms.
Saturday Night
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Partly cloudy, with a low around 75. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Sunday
A chance of showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 8am. Partly sunny, with a high near 88. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 76.
Monday
A chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 89. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Monday Night
A chance of showers and thunderstorms. Mostly clear, with a low around 76. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
Tuesday
Sunny, with a high near 89.
Tuesday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 76.
Wednesday
Sunny, with a high near 89.