So last night I make my reservation for a quick overnight trip to Hatteras and Ocracoke Island this coming Sunday and Monday, I've got a little work to do down there and want to visit some friends. Then I come home, relax, check the email and make my daily visit to Weather Underground's Tropical Weather Page. And with my usual good timing I see I could be driving down Highway 12 on Hatteras as Emily, now a tropical storm but possibly a hurricane in a couple of days, heads up the east coast.
Who knows? Five or six days is a long time when it comes to tropical storm forecasts. Dr. Jeff Masters titles his blog entry "An Uneasy Future for Tropical Storm Emily." The forecasts models are literally all over the place. From the Gulf of Mexico to the east coast of Florida and up the east coast. So I'll wait and watch, probably not taking anything too seriously until Thursday or so. But I really would like to go to the islands this weekend.
I have to say I do love a good tropical storm. I've been to the Outer Banks for a few, including last year's near miss by Hurricane Earl. That was an interesting storm in that south of Hatteras it was up to Category 3 or 4 - something that made even the long-time islanders a little nervous. A day south of Cape Point the storm veered NE and just brushed by Hatteras.
And Hurricane Bill, a couple of years ago was another near miss. Flooding, wind damage, erosion are the typical results of near misses, something the folks on Hatteras take in stride. The access roads will flooded and be left covered in sand, blocking traffic to Hatteras and giving the islanders a day or two to clean up before the tourists return.
Hurricane Isabel in 2003 was the most recent direct hit, cutting Hatteras in two and leaving Hatteras Village an island, called Little Hatteras by the locals, for a few months.
In 1993 there was another Tropical Storm Emily that became a hurricane and quickly intensified into a major hurricane just before hitting the Outer Banks. I missed that one but have some good friends down there that rode it out. When visiting Hatteras to this day I still see "high water" markers in homes and restaurants that storm.
Hurricane season is here. Let's watch, wait and see what comes our way.