NEWPORT — The weather this week is looking cold and wet, according to the National Weather Service’s Weather Forecasting Office in Newport.

The Newport WFO issued a briefing Tuesday morning, warning that a strong cold front was forecast to pass through the Carteret County area Tuesday night into early Wednesday. The briefing included wind, coastal flood, small craft and high surf advisories, as well as freeze and gale warnings.

“The cold front will bring rain along and behind the front, gusty winds, elevated water levels and freezing temperatures behind the front,” said WFO Meteorologist Bel Melendez in the briefing.

Water levels from Tuesday night into Wednesday are forecast to rise 1-2 feet above ground level. Wind levels are forecast at 40-45 mph, and rough seas as high as 10-12 feet are expected. Low temperatures inland are expected to drop to 25-30 degrees Fahrenheit, with low temps of 35-40 degrees forecast for the outer banks.

According to the forecast for the Carteret County area on the NWS website www.weather.gov, a freeze warning will be in effect from 1 a.m. – 8 a.m. Wednesday for western Carteret, mainland Hyde, southern Craven, coastal Onslow, Hyde and Pamlico counties.

“Sub-freezing temperatures as low as 28-32 degrees (are) expected (early Wednesday),” the warning says. “Frost and freeze conditions will kill crops, other sensitive vegetation and possibly damage unprotected outdoor plumbing.”

The NWS advises residents to take steps to protect tender plans from the cold. It also advises residents to wrap, drain or allow outdoor water pipes to drip slowly to prevent freezing and possible bursting of outdoor pipes.

“Those that have in-ground sprinkler systems should drain them and cover above-ground popes to protect them from freezing,” the NWS said.

In addition to the freezing conditions, an increasing chance of precipitation is forecast for later this week. The NWS website says it will start with a 20% chance of showers on Thursday, increasing to 50% chance, Thursday night, and peaking at a 60% chance Friday.

By Friday night, the chance of precipitation will begin to drop, decreasing to 50%. It will continue this downward trend to 40% by Saturday.

Contact Mike Shutak at 252-726-7081 ext. 206, email mike@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.

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