Storm Watch

An RV buried to its wheels in sand after a hurricane.

NPS Photo

Storms--whether a coastal storm, nor'easter, tropical storm, or hurricane--are a part of living along the coast. Storms can affect the park with overwash, erosion and closures. The park will issue news releases on the storm(s) and any possible impacts to the islands and park operations.

Before, during, and after a storm, please monitor this page as well as our social media account on Facebook and Twitter, and our Current Conditions page for information about park conditions.
Area under Tropical Storm WARNING as of 11:40 am 9-21-2023

National Weather Service

Coastal Low/Tropical Storm (9/21/2023) as of 11:40 am.

Tropical Storm WARNING posted for part of our area. Highest impacts Friday through Saturday. Biggest concerns are storm surge along the coast, inland rivers and sounds, tropical storm force winds (especially closer to the coast) and heavy rain.
More details at and
  • Tropical Storm Warning: Tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected within your area within 36 hours.
Infographic showing rain totals and listing other storm conditions expected

National Weather Service

Storm forecast

Coastal Low

Coastal Low forecast update issued September 21, 2023. Heavy rainfall with up to 6 inches forecast to fall across the beaches. Expect low lying roads to be flooded on the mainland as well as the sand road behind the dunes and into other areas of the barrier islands to become flooded and possibly impassable due to the amount of rain fall.

Image description: Infographic showing the forecast total rainfall amount for Friday (9/22) into Saturday (9/23) Additional information written down one side of the graphic reads: Coastal Low to impact the area late week into the weekend.
  • Increased Rip Current Threat and Large Surf
  • Localized Heavy rainfall may lead to flooding concerns
  • Strong Winds & Coastal Impacts including ocean overwash, beach erosion, and coastal flooding
Infographic showing the amount of rainfall (4-6 inches) expected and lists other possible storm impacts

National Weather Service

Storm forecast

Coastal Low
Incoming condtions update (September 20, 2023)

An area of low pressure is forecast to develop off the Southeast coast late this week, which will lift across or just offshore of the Carolinas this weekend. There is still a lot of uncertainty with the strength and track of this system, as well as the potential impacts, but we are most confident that much of the area will see significant rainfall. In addition, long period swells from Hurricane Nigel in the Central Atlantic will begin to impact the beaches later this week bringing large surf and an increased rip current threat.


News Releases

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    Before & After Satellite Imagery

    Long Point Cabin Camp before Hurricane Dorian Long Point Cabin Camp before Hurricane Dorian

    Left image
    Long Point Cabins Before
    Credit: / Image Credit: Google Maps

    Right image
    Long Point Cabins After
    Credit: / Image Credit: NOAA

    Satellite imagery of Core Banks at the Long Point Cabin Camp showing damage sustained in Hurricane Dorian.


    Wild Cows on North Core Banks

    Images are of when we first spotted the one cow in September, a photo gallery of images taken of the roundup efforts on November 21 & 22 (including one of all three cows dashing away after being released on their home range) and finally a video of the ferry as it leaves North Core Banks for the mainland carrying the cows and the equipment.
    white cow found on North Core Banks after Hurricane Dorian
    This wild cow was found on North Core Banks following Hurricane Dorian in early September.  The deep storm surge that flowed from the Pamlico Sound back to the Atlantic Ocean swept her off her home range on Cedar Island over to the barrier island in Cape Lookout National Seashore.  She has now been joined by 2 more wild cows that also were washed over to the barrier island during the storm.

    NPS/Jeff West

    White wild cow runs away from the photographer
    Unlike the wild horses on Shackleford Banks at the southern end of the park, the wild cattle that lived on Cedar Island were not used to seeing humans or having them approach them.  This one took off running when the photographer tried to get closer.

    NPS/Jeff West


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    The 3 wild cows that were swept from their home range by the storm surge during Hurricane Dorian over to North Core Banks in Cape Lookout National Seashore, were rounded up and returned by ferry to the mainland to be reunited with their herd.

    Last updated: October 20, 2023

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