Outer Banks could get severe weather Christmas Eve, coastal flooding Christmas Day

A strong cold front is expected to affect the region late Christmas Eve into Christmas Day, with possible severe weather on the night before Christmas, coupled with strong winds that will likely produce coastal flooding.

Forecasters at the National Weather Service office in Newport/Morehead City said this morning eastern North Carolina is in a slight risk of severe thunderstorms, especially on Thursday.

The timing of any severe weather for the Outer Banks appears to be after dark on Christmas Eve through the early morning hours of Christmas Day, with strong damaging winds and an isolated tornado the main threat.

Rainfall amounts of one to two inches, with locally higher amounts, are also possible.

Southerly winds are forecast to strengthen through the day on Thursday ahead of the front, which could produce soundside flooding, as well as ocean overwash along some parts of Ocracoke Island.

Once the front clears the region before sunrise on Christmas Day, temperatures are expected to be well below normal for this time of year to start the weekend.

National Weather Service forecast for Nags Head, as of Tuesday, 11:30 a.m.:

Sunny, with a high near 53. Breezy, with a west wind 17 to 25 mph, with gusts as high as 36 mph.
Clear, with a low around 39. Northwest wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 18 mph.
Sunny, with a high near 55. Northeast wind 8 to 10 mph becoming east in the afternoon.
Wednesday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a low around 52. Southeast wind 11 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.
Showers likely, mainly after 1pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 66. Windy, with a south wind 18 to 23 mph increasing to 24 to 29 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 36 mph. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.
Thursday Night
Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Low around 44. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.
Christmas Day
Mostly sunny, with a high near 46. Breezy.
Friday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 26. Breezy.
Sunny, with a high near 36.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around 29.
Sunny, with a high near 48.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 44.
A chance of showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 57. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

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