First Warning Forecast: Strong cold front ushers in Fall air and a severe storm threat Thursday

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Posted at 7:47 PM, Sep 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-22 19:47:21-04

Meteorologist Kristy Steward's First Warning Forecast

Good Wednesday evening and happy Fall! The Autumnal Equinox officially occurred at 3:20 PM. “Equinox” means equal day and night, but because of the way the earth’s atmosphere refracts light, we will see our equal day/night on September 25 & 26.

We have a strong cold front slowly headed our way. Ahead of it, we are seeing scattered showers and coastal flooding today. There is a Coastal Flood Statement in effect until 2 PM Thursday for most of our North Carolina counties including Pasquotank, Camden, Currituck, Bertie, Chowan, and Perquimans. Up to 1 foot of inundation above ground level is possible in low-lying areas.

This strong cold front is set to pass through Hampton Roads/northeastern NC slowly throughout the day Thursday. Right around the front, expected thunderstorms with heavy downpours that could create localized flooding and strong gusty winds. For this reason, the Peninsulas, Eastern Shore, and parts of Southside are under a Level 1 severe risk Thursday.

Another thing we’ll need to watch for is a continued rough surf. Expect high-moderate rip current risks with 4-5 feet waves through Friday, then 3 feet waves this weekend.

Following the cold front will be very Fall-like air. Highs in the low to mid 70s and overnight lows dropping into the 50s Thursday through this weekend. Temperatures gradually climb back to more seasonable highs in the upper 70s around 80° as we head into next week. This weekend into the start of next week will also feature plenty of sunshine and dry conditions as a Canadian high pressure system influences our weather.

Meteorologist Kristy Steward