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NWS Newport/Morehead City, NC
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High Surf Hazards

  • Rough surf conditions may result in some localized coastal erosion, and pose a threat to swimmers.
  • High surf conditions may cause significant beach erosion. Surf may breach dunes and seawalls in isolated locations, mainly in historically vulnerable spots. Swimming is not advised.
  • Battering surf conditions will result in major coastal erosion. There is a high potential for surf to breach dunes and seawalls in many locations. Swimming is definitely not advised.

General Information

High surf conditions are often the result of strong coastal storm systems that bring high winds and seas to coastal areas. High surf can result from both tropical and non tropical storm systems. The amount of destruction caused by the high surf is dependendant on the strength of the winds and the amount of onshore component they have. Winds blowing directly onshore will build the highest surf and cause the most damage.

High Surf Safety Tips:
  • Rough surf makes swimming very dangerous, and increases the threat of rip currents. During the roughest surf conditions, novice and experienced swimmers alike are urged to stay out of the water.
  • People in oceanfront locations should be prepared for overwash.
  • The most severe high surf conditions can damage oceanfront houses by wiping out foundations. If conditions worsen, be prepared to evacuate oceanfornt houses and seek shelter inland..

This Outlook is an Experimental Product for Planning purposes Only!!!

The local high surf hazard graphics are valid for roughly a 24 hour period from the time of issuance (between 4 AM and 6 AM) until 8 AM the following morning. The highest expected risk possible for the duration of the graphic will be depicted. Only one of the listed criteria needs to be met fo inclusion in a higher risk category

Updates will be posted for significant forecast changes and as time permits. As the weather threat increases throughout the day, or becomes imminent, tornado watches and/or warnings will be issued.

The outlook graphics are an effort to improve the interpretation of our outlooks and statements. This product is provided for emergency managers, law enforcement, schools, local media, businesses, and the public. Use the graphical hazardous weather outlook to factor the threat of hazardous weather into your daily plans.

DISCLAIMER: This is an experimental service designed to supplement pre-existing, official means of communication. Timeliness and reliability of products obtained from the Internet are not guaranteed.

Click here for a detailed product description.
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Send e-mail with your comments and suggestions to John Cole.
This project is being developed in an effort to achieve goals set forth in the National Weather Service's Strategic Plan.

Updated 7/13/2004