New details emerge regarding Tropical Storm Elsa
An update from the National Weather Service on Wednesday morning gave Beaufort County a better idea of what to expect when Tropical Storm Elsa moves through eastern North Carolina on Thursday.
Deputy Emergency Services Director Chris Newkirk shared some key points for Beaufort County residents to know:
- Rain will begin to move into the area between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Thursday morning, and continue through sunrise Friday. The heaviest rains are expected to occur between 2 p.m and 10 p.m. 1.5-3 inches of rain is forecast for Beaufort County, with areas west of Blounts Creek and Bath receiving 2-3 inches and areas east receiving 1.5-2 inches. Heavy downpours capable of causing localized flash flooding are possible anytime Thursday.
- A tropical storm watch has been issued for Beaufort County, meaning Tropical Storm Force winds (39 to 73 mph) are possible within the next 48 hours. South winds will begin to increase after sunrise on Thursday, becoming sustained between 15 and 20 mph by mid-afternoon (2–4 p.m.). These elevated sustained winds will transition to the southwest and are forecast to last six to eight hours before diminishing between 10 p.m. and midnight for most areas of our county. Wind gusts up to 35 mph are possible during this same time period. Areas along the county’s shorelines and inland areas west of N.C. Highway 17 have the greatest chance of experiencing higher sustained winds and more frequent and intense wind gusts.
- Severe thunderstorms and / or isolated tornados are possible throughout the day on Thursday. However, the potential for these impacts appear to be highest between 2 p.m. and 10 p.m.
- Elsa is not expected to cause any significant storm surge to Beaufort County. However, minor inundation is possible for low lying areas susceptible to southern winds and / or flash flooding.