Overwash at the S Curves north of Rodanthe on Hatteras Island. The road will remain closed until Saturday. Photo, NCDOT.

Overwash at the S Curves north of Rodanthe on Hatteras Island. The road will remain closed until Saturday. Photo, NCDOT.

Subtropical Storm Melissa is certainly no threat whatsoever to the Outer Banks but that doesn’t mean we’re not experiencing some of the effects of the storm.

Melissa is well out to sea off the New England coast and headed away from land, but the way she formed is outside the norm.

The storm seems to be the merging of two or maybe even three cells that had some potential for tropical development according to the National Hurricane Center. One of the cells was way too far to the east to worry about. The other two, although there was almost no chance of tropical development, have been kicking up the surf for the past week.

It’s not even good surf—at least for surfers. A lot of chop and a strong north to northeast wind. There’s no clear break to the waves, just a steady pounding of the shoreline.

Melissa became an officially named storm early this morning, Friday. It was a nor’easter before that, but when some thunderstorms became embedded in the circulation, it was deemed a subtropical storm. Kind of a hybrid because it’s a little bit of each. Really a distinction without a difference. It’s a storm with strong winds and big waves.

The Effects of Melissa on the Outer Banks

The waves are the story on this one. The Field Research Facility in Duck—the Duck Pier—recorded 9’ waves in the surf zone. That’s a scientific measurement recorded by instruments that are in the water.

Along the northern Outer Banks there has been a little bit of overwash on the roads. Not much at all on the Beach Road.

In Rodanthe, at the S Curves, it’s a different story. NCDOT has been working all day to clear the road, but latest report indicates there’s no traveling through the area.

“Unfortunately, just as our crew’s road-clearing operations were ending, the ocean broke through again, bringing sand and overwash back onto the highway. NC12 remains CLOSED between the Basnight Bridge and Rodanthe. We hope to reopen it sometime tomorrow afternoon,” NCDOT wrote on their NC 12 Facebook page.

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