Rip current risk subsiding, for now, then distant Hurricane Lee brings back the waves by Sunday

Rip current risk subsiding, for now, then distant Hurricane Lee brings back the waves by Sunday

September 6th, 2023

After more than two weeks of big surf from the combination of Hurricane Franklin passing way offshore and Tropical Storm Idalia crossing the region, all of the Outer Banks will finally drop below a high risk of rip currents on Thursday.

The risk of dangerous shore break and powerful rip currents, which this week claimed three lives in the span of three days, is moderate from Corolla to Buxton and low from Frisco to Ocracoke.

A 28-year-old woman from Washington, D.C., died off Monday Avon, a 68-year-old Ohio man died Tuesday off Hatteras village, and a 36-year-old man from Connecticut died Wednesday off Nags Head.

Hurricane Lee, which is gaining strength in the far Tropical Atlantic and is forecast to reach major status, is expected to start sending waves to the North Carolina coast headed into next week.

As far as what could happen with the track of Lee, and despite what some individual computer models have been saying the last few days, the forecast is still up in the air.

Hurricane Lee latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center

“While it is way too early to know what direct impacts may or may not occur with Lee, we wanted to take this early opportunity to highlight that we do expect an enhanced risk of rip currents and potential coastal issues, Sunday through most of next week, regardless of what happens with the eventual storm track,” according to an email Wednesday evening from the Newport/Morehead City office of the National Weather Service.

They advise that the public not to “anchor on any one forecast” and continue to check with trusted sources of information for the latest updates, including the National Hurricane Center and here at

Stay with the WOBX Weather Center for the latest updates.

National Weather Service seven-day forecasts for:

LIVE data from flood gauges at key locations throughout North Carolina, including automated email and text alerts, visit

Sign up for emergency alerts from Dare County and its municipalities. Beach safety and rip current information can be found at

Currituck County provides beach safety and emergency updates for Corolla and the mainland via Currituck Alert.

The NCDOT Ferry Division provides real-time text or email alerts from their routes via the Ferry Information Notification System (FINS) at System-wide route status updates will also be posted on the Ferry Division’s Twitter and Facebook pages.

For the latest images from NCDOT traffic cameras on the Outer Banks and northeastern North Carolina, visit:

LIVE video from Kitty Hawk, courtesy Twiddy & Co.:

LIVE video from Rodanthe, courtesy

Click to watch LIVE video from Corolla, courtesy Currituck County/WebCOOS

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