Much warmer air temperatures are expected for the last weekend of March along the Outer Banks and in eastern North Carolina, keep in mind that area waters are still chilly for kayaking, canoeing and other boating.
The National Weather Service office in Wakefield, in conjunction with the U.S. Coast Guard, has established the Paddle Craft Cold Water Risk program because of the risk cold water presents during the early spring.
While high temperatures will be in the upper 70s and even low 80s Friday through Sunday, water temperatures are still only in the 50s in the ocean, sounds, coastal rivers and creeks.
“If you plan to go out on the water, wear the proper gear including personal floatation devices,” the weather office posted on Facebook. “Cold water kills despite warm air temperatures.”
A small craft advisory is posted for Friday, and paddling is not advised along the open areas of the sounds.
Southwest winds of 10-to-20 knots are also forecast for much the weekend, with waves on the sounds running 2-to-3 feet on Friday, and then 1-to-2 feet on Saturday and Sunday.
On the oceanside, seas of 5-to-7 feet are expected offshore and 4-to-5 feet nearshore on Friday with a small craft advisory. Seas will drop to 4 feet on Saturday and run 3-to-5 feet on Sunday.
National Weather Service forecast for Nags Head, as of Friday, 8 a.m.:
Mostly sunny, with a high near 71. West wind 7 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.