Hurricane Idalia: Tuesday evening update

Published 6:49 pm Tuesday, August 29, 2023

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From Chris Newkirk, Beaufort County Emergency Services:

There were several changes to this afternoon’s forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS) which included in a slower track along North Carolina’s coastline. This timing change extended our forecasted time under inclement conditions which has raised our expected rainfall totals and increased our storm surge values. These changes have been highlighted below.



  • Scattered rain will begin to move into our area around 2pm Wednesday with rain likely for all areas of our county by 8pm. A steady rain is expected to continue through 8pm Thursday.
    • Almost all areas of Beaufort County are now forecasted to receive 4 to 6 inches of rain during this time.
    • Areas south and east of Pamlico Beach and Aurora are now forecasted to receive 6 to 8 inches.
  • Our heaviest rains are expected to occur between 2am and 7pm Thursday. These passing rain bands could be heavy at times, and capable of producing localized flash flooding.
  • Rain should begin to exit our area overnight Thursday, with only scattered showers forecasted for Friday.



  • Northeast winds will begin to increase after 4am Thursday, becoming sustained between 15 and 20 mph with frequent gust of 25 to 30 mph. These wind conditions will continue through 10am as Idalia approaches our area.
  • NE winds will elevate once again around 10am as Idalia begins to pass to our south, becoming sustained between 20 and 25 mph with frequent gust of 30 to 40 mph. These wind conditions are expected to continue through 4am Friday.
  • North and Northeast winds are expected to remain sustained between 10 and 20 mphwith frequent gust of 20 to 25 mph through 6pm Saturday.


Storm Surge

  • A Storm Surge Watch has been issued for Beaufort County’s waterways. Our coastlines are now forecasted to receive 2 to 4 feet of storm surge from Thursday to late Saturday evening.
    • Areas that are vulnerable to long durations of North / Northeast winds such as the western shoreline of the Pungo River and southern shoreline of the Pamlico River should prepare for at least 4 feet of surge.


Severe Storms & Tornados

  • As with many tropical weather systems, passing rain bands can result in severe thunderstorms capable of producing tornados. While severe storms are possible for all of Beaufort County Wednesday and Thursday, areas south and east of Belhaven, Bath and Blounts Creek will be at a slightly greater risk than other portions of our county.


Please see below and attached briefing from the National Weather Service for additional information.


From the National Weather Service, Morehead City:

 Tropical Storm, Storm Surge, and Flash Flood Watches have been issued for portions of Eastern NC with the latest forecast update. Please see the attached briefing for details on the impacts from Hurricane Idalia.

We remain in a prolonged period of dangerous rip current/surf conditions and beach erosion as Major Hurricane Franklin passes offshore. Localized ocean over wash along the Outer Banks is also possible during this time.

NWS Morehead City Briefing #7 Idalia