State News

Waterspout spotted off N.C.; hurricane threatens rip currents

Posted August 27, 2010

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— A waterspout was spouted in the Pamlico Sound Friday morning, and Hurricane Danielle will likely create more wacky currents off the coasts of the Carolinas this weekend.

Marine weather spotters saw a waterspout 5 miles north of Ocracoke Inlet at 8:17 a.m., according to the National Weather Service. It moved south in the Pamlico Sound by Ocracoke and Portsmouth.

Boaters were warned of gusty winds and urged to take shelter. Radar showed a small cell of rain around Ocracoke at that time.

Waterspouts are columns of rapidly swirling air formed in contact with a water surface and nearly always produced by a swiftly growing  cumulus cloud.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Danielle – which has become a Category 4 storm – will create the threat of rip currents from the Outer Banks to Charleston beginning Friday.

Forecasters say swells from Danielle will reach the coastline by Friday and increase throughout the weekend. They say that will lead to a threat of strong rip currents well into next week.

Danielle’s maximum sustained winds increased Friday to near 135 mph, and additional strengthening is possible.

Danielle is located about 545 miles southeast of Bermuda. The hurricane is forecast to pass east of Bermuda on Saturday night.

Also in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Earl is moving west with maximum sustained winds near 45 mph.

In the Pacific, Hurricane Frank has weakened slightly off Mexico’s coast. Further weakening is expected over the next couple days as the hurricane moves over cooler waters.


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  • gallbury Aug 27, 2010

    I agree with gz. I watch WRAL for professionalism and accuracy, not for silly giggles and goofy puns. Weather has become very serious business and each year many families lose their homes, property, and sometimes, even their lives; lives that might could have been been saved by accurate, early, forecasts and warnings. Those who have been victims of either severe, or extreme weather deserve the "best" info that can be afforded by an experienced weather team, which WRAL does have. What they do not deserve is being "regaled" with silly stories and cheap comedy. Greg Fishel is one of the best in the business; it pains me to see him act otherwise.

  • jdalenc28 Aug 27, 2010

    Waves are on the way: Buoys picking it up as usual: 4.3 feet at 15 seconds.

  • cwood3 Aug 27, 2010

    If you've ever been near a waterspout on the water, you know how scary they can be. Boats are no competition for wind and waves. The suction of a waterspout is tremendous-drawing everything in it's path inward. It's just scary.

    The point is that even though Danielle is a long way away, some weird stuff can happen. And with Danielle becoming a cat4 storm-who knows what she will do. After all, she's named for a woman!! What can be more unpredictable than a woman!!

  • seankelly15 Aug 27, 2010

    youcanthandletruth - You must have a very unhappy life. If you feel that WRAL's reporting on the weather is suspect, then stop reading the stories and commenting as well. "NOAA, still no hurricanes". What does that mean? Is this a sentence?

  • seankelly15 Aug 27, 2010

    1opinion - where did 2000 miles come from?

  • garyspear Aug 27, 2010

    Seems like a stretch to link a water spout and the hurricane, but wral managed to do it.

  • sunneyone Aug 27, 2010

    OH yes, For goodness sakes, let's keep the beaches open so people can surf.

  • blytle Aug 27, 2010

    Waterspout SPOTTED -- not spouted.

  • 1opinion Aug 27, 2010

    +1 gz. This sounds like fear by association. No relationship between the spout and the hurricane. The hurricane is 2000 miles away and not coming near. I guess it's just some more "wacky" reporting. At least check the morning surf cams at Wrightsville. Flat as a pancake.

  • rescuefan Aug 27, 2010

    "We expect more from WRAL

    We? I know that you aren't speaking for me. I happen to like their homey, friendly way of putting things.