Stormy weekend: Va. to see scattered rain, Outer Banks could get 4-6 inches of rain, major tidal flooding


Today begins a wet and windy weekend. A storm system is going to strengthen to our south, and it will only slowly move to the northeast through Sunday.

Today we started with widespread rain and a little breeziness. Deep moisture was moving into the viewing area. This is well north of an area of low pressure that was moving off the coast of Florida.

Regional Weather Map

At the same time high pressure was well off to our northwest. We’ll have on-and-off showers today, but the weather won’t be too bad…yet. High temps will be in the low 50s with a few upper 40s north. Winds will be out of the north/northeast at 10-15mph. I think the rain showers will taper off a bit this afternoon and become more scattered. However, the models are definitely wetter for the late afternoon and evening compared to yesterday’s forecast.

Future Trak (This Afternoon)

Tomorrow the area low pressure will move to the northeast a little bit. Plus, it will strengthen.

Forecast Map (Tomorrow)

At the same time high pressure will build-in a little closer from the west. This will create a strong difference in the pressure between the systems, and our region will be right in the middle of that gradient. So the winds will increase. We’ll have a northeast wind at 15-25mph with gusts to 35mph in Hampton Roads. Gusts will be to 45mph near the shore, and the gusts could be between 50-60mph over the Outer Banks. Here’s the steady wind forecast from the GFS model for Saturday:

Wind Forecast (Saturday)

I think it’s a bit too strong, but in the ballpark. The rain showers will be more scattered on Saturday, but the chance for rain is still high.

Future Trak (Saturday Afternoon)

I doubt temps will warm above the upper 40s due to the clouds, rain, and strong winds. Between Saturday night and Sunday the low pressure system will only very slowly move to the northeast. This will keep the regional winds up and the rain going.

Future Trak (Sunday AM)

Before it looked like the bulk of the Sunday rain would be just offshore, but the models edged west a little since then. So now it looks like we’ll still have scattered rain showers over the area. This part of the forecast could still change. Wind will still be strong out of the north/northeast, mostly along the coast

Wind Forecast (Sunday)

The Low will finally move out on Monday, but it will only slowly move away. Hopefully, it will be far enough away to take the rain with it.

The weekend rain forecast isn’t too bad for southeast Virginia. We are looking at a couple of inches in Hampton Roads. Lesser amounts north/west of the metro. However, the Outer Banks could see 5-6″ of rain.

Rainfall Forecast (GFS)

This could cause some minor flooding by itself. But the rain will be on top of tidal flooding. In Hampton Roads we are calling for minor tidal flooding on Saturday. By Sunday the tide will build higher. So we’ll have solid moderate tidal flooding.

Tide Forecast (Sewell’s Point)

The tidal flooding will be moderate over the Outer Banks, but it may rise to major levels on Sunday. As of this writing, the tide forecast for Duck, NC is about 7 ft at around 11am Sunday. The tide should drop for the region by Sunday night into Monday, but some tidal flooding is still expected. Please check back for updates on all of this over the weekend. Tide forecasts are tricky, and they depend heavily on the wind direction as well as the wind speed and duration. Here is the tide forecasts and coastal flood warning information from the National weather Service: NWS tide and warning info.

Overall, Hampton Roads will be ok, but there will be some problems. Over the Outer Banks there could be a lot of problems. The tide will be high. There will be ocean overwash. Waves are forecast to over 10 ft. That could cut off highway 12 again. So please stay tuned for updates to the forecast over the weekend.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

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