Severe weather possible Thursday evening; windy with high surf along Outer Banks to end the week

The Outer Banks has an enhanced risk of severe thunderstorms for Thursday. [NWS graphic]

A complex weather system moving into the Deep South late Wednesday will bring eastern North Carolina the potential of severe weather for Thursday, followed by strong winds and high surf along the Outer Banks to wrap up the work week.

The potential for a regional severe weather outbreak is increasing across the southeastern U.S. tomorrow afternoon and evening, according to forecasters at the Newport/Morehead City office of the National Weather Service.

“The Storm Prediction Center has increased our risk level to Moderate for most of the area,” the weather office said Wednesday morning. “The main risks remain damaging wind gusts, large hail in excess of one inch in diameter and tornadoes. A few tornadoes could be strong.”

The strongest storms are currently forecast to arrive from 4 to 9 p.m. for inland areas of northeastern North Carolina, and from 7 p.m. to midnight along the Outer Banks.

In addition to severe weather, a strong cold front is forecast to push across the region on Friday bringing strong northerly winds with gusts of 45 to 50 mph possible.

This could lead to minor to moderate coastal flooding for areas soundside from Buxton to Ocracoke, and ocean overwash along the east-facing beaches from Buxton to the state line.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.