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.: