By Rob Morris on May 29, 2012Flood watches are up for northeastern North Carolina counties as Beryl edges over water and heads out to sea.
The storm is forecast by the National Hurricane Center to brush quickly past the Outer Banks today with higher winds offshore. The center plans no watches or warnings.
Periods of heavy rain are possible Wednesday. Forecasters are also warning of dangerous rip currents along the coast and surf of 2 to 4 feet quickly rising to 4 to 6 feet Wednesday afternoon.
Beryl delivered a considerable amount of rain to Florida and Georgia as it moved ashore Monday.
The flood watch is through Wednesday night for counties south and west of the Albemarle Sound.
As much as 2 to 4 inches of rain are forecast, with 4 to 6 inches in areas of heavy rain bands.
Some school systems are releasing students early as a precaution: Beaufort County, three hours early; Washington, 11 a.m.; Tyrrell, noon; Bertie, noon; Hyde, 12:30 p.m.
On Sunday morning, estimated top winds were 70 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, but they had diminished to less than 39 mph as it moved over land Monday.
During the month of May, only four tropical systems since 1908 have passed within 100 nautical miles of Cape Hatteras before this year, according to NOAA historical records. The most recent was Extratropical Storm Andrea in 2007, which formed 95 miles east-northeast of Buxton on May 6, then drifted off the southeast coast before dissapating near Bermuda.
The center of an unnamed hurricane in 1908 crossed over Cape Hatteras on May 29, with maximum sustained winds of 75 mph.
On May 22, the center of Tropical Storm Alberto was about 170 miles south-southeast of Cape Hatteras when it was no longer classified as a named tropical system by the National Hurricane Center.
The tropical weather should clear out by Thursday.