If you dig the tropics, you’ll love the weather for the next few days.
A stalled low front positioned to the west combined with a Bermuda high sitting off the coast, has Eastern North Carolina sandwiched in a very wet weather system bringing Caribbean moisture to the region, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Morgan Simms at the Newport office.
“The big event we’re following over the next couple days is heavy rainfall for Eastern North Carolina with totals expected to measure up to 4 inches of rain through Thursday with some isolated areas of western Carteret County receiving up to 10 inches,” Simms said Monday afternoon.
While wet, soggy weather is not unusual for this time of year in Eastern North Carolina, having a low system stall to west creates a weather phenomenon called “training,” according to Simms.
“This is tropical moisture that is moving across our region from south to north drawing in moisture from the Gulf of Mexico,” Simms said.
Simms said portions of Onslow County including Jacksonville as well as southern areas of Jones and Lenoir counties could get as much as 6 to 8 inches over this period.
The NWS has issued a flash-flood watch through Tuesday evening in all coastal counties from the Virginia line down through Onslow County as well as interior counties Jones and Craven.
Jones County Cooperative Extension Director Jacob Morgan said 5 to 6 inches of rain in a short period time is not good news for crops.
"The only time that amount of rain is a good thing is if you're fighting a forest fire," Morgan said.
Morgan said many crops are already behind due to the wet spring as farmers had difficulties getting into the fields.
"With heavy amounts of rain, the soil becomes saturated soils causing the plants to stop growing until the fields dry out. The worst case scenario is that fields get flooded and kills the crop," Morgan said.
In addition to heavy rains and the potential for flash floods which extend through Tuesday evening, beach goers need to be aware of dangerous surf conditions.
The NWS forecasts strong southerly winds combined with increasing southeasterly swell will lead to a high rip current risk, strong shore break and strong longshore currents for all area beaches on Monday. The warning extends from Surf City to Duck, according to NWS.
The possible threats of torrential rains didn’t deter Craig Latham from launching his Phoenix Bass Boat from the Wildlife ramp next to the Buddy Phillips Bridge Monday afternoon in Jacksonville.
“I’ve got all my chores done at home and my wife has given me permission to do a little fishing so I’m going to enjoy my day off,” Latham said adding that he didn’t plan on boating too far from the ramp in case inclement weather popped up.
Reporter Mike McHugh can be reached at 910-219-8455 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.