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• Nautical Wheelers 1st Virtual Wine Tasting, Sat May 30 1p •
...you and Antonio Sanguinetti compare wine tasting notes

It's Tuesday May 26, 2020 Dock Quote: “The trouble with...

News From The Village Updated Almost Daily

Upcoming Events

Oriental United Methodist Church - May 24 Service Online:

Online from OUMC. The Story

How To Stay Safe During Phase 2:

Celebrate but remain vigilant. Guest Columnist

N.C. Ferry Service to Increase Starting Saturday:

Cherry Branch / Minnesott Beach Ferry On Increased Schedule. The Story

Letters: Thank You From Hope Clinic:

Virtual Hope Regala Raised $125,000. Letters To The Editor

Living Art at Harbourside Gardens:

Planting at home. The Story

Governor Cooper Announces Phase Two - Restaurants Can Open With 50% Capacity :

The Stay-At-Home Order is lifted. The Story

Open Mic Night @ The Silos May 20:

Tonight's performance is dedicated to Marlene Miller. The Story

The 2020 Pirate Jam - Moved To Sunday May 24:

Listen on the water. The Story

Coronavirus In North Carolina:

Tracking The Cases. The Story

Oriental United Methodist Church - May 17 Service Online:

Online from OUMC. The Story

Bombing Target Eleven (BT-11):

Military asset lights up the sky. Captain's Blog

Open Mic Night @ The Silos May 13:

Songs about chewin' tobacco and love. The Story

Mister May 2020 - Trace:

Athlete, ambassador & rigging apprentice. Pet Of The Month

Oriental United Methodist Church - May 10 Service Online:

Online from OUMC. The Story

When will COVID-19 peak in North Carolina?:

...and when in Eastern NC?. Guest Columnist

Town Board Meeting May 2020:

Budget amendments and Flood Insurance. The Story

Open Mic Night @ The Silos May 6:

Tunes That Can't Stay At Home. The Story

County Commissioners Talk Regional Reopening:

May 4 County Board of Commissioners. The Story

Letters: Reopening Pamlico County:

Too soon?. Letters To The Editor

Oriental United Methodist Church - May 3 Service Online:

Online from OUMC. The Story

Special Town Meeting Summary - April 30:

COVID-19. The Story

Open Mic Night @ The Silos April 29:

Music Escapes From Galvinized Silos. The Story

Oriental United Methodist Church - April 26 Service Online:

Online From OUMC. The Story

The Pandemic Collection:

Books to get you through. The Story

Open Mic Night @ The Silos April 22:

Music From Galvinized Silos. The Story

Pamlico Arts For A COVID-19 World:

Pamlico Arts delivers Stay-At-Home Art. The Story

Oriental United Methodist Church - April 19 Service Online:

Online From OUMC. The Story

Masks, Makers and Models:

Show off your masks. The Story

Open Mic Night @ The Silos April 15:

The Music Comes To Your Screen. The Story

Thank You, Friends & Community:

After all, this is Oriental. Letters To The Editor

Oriental United Methodist Church - April 12 Easter Service Online:

Online From OUMC. The Story

Letters: My Mask Protects You and Me:

A visiting cruiser, taking the pandemic seriously. Letters To The Editor

Pamlico COVID-19 Task Force Seeks Volunteers:

A need for virtual community outreach. The Story

George Bailey - Red Rooster Bar - April 10:

The Red Rooster Comes To You. The Story

Letters: SV Kestrel in Antigua:

COVID-19 and the Caribbean. Letters To The Editor

Mark Laser, 1957-2020:

Mark had just retired to embrace the crusing life. The Story

Hope Regala Goes Virtual:

Hope Clinic Fundraiser Set For May 6-15. The Story

Letters: Thanks to the Workers:

Appreciation for the people making our town work. Letters To The Editor

Open Mic Night @ The Silos April 8:

Live Music For A Stay At Home World. The Story

Pamlico Commissioners Get COVID-19 Update:

The April Pamlico County Commissioners Meeting. The Story

Burgees for a Belated Boat Show:

Show your colors. The Story

Letters: A One Time Gift From The Government:

A reader writes in about unemployment assistance. Letters To The Editor

Oriental United Methodist Church - April 5 Service Online:

Online From OUMC. The Story

Happy 90th, Dad:

Separated by COVID-19, a daughter sends Happy Birthday wishes. Guest Columnist

Businesses Adapt to a New Normal:

Take out, delivery, and pick-up in Oriental. The Story

Open Mic Night @ The Silos April 1:

Live Music For A New World. The Story

Special Town Meeting Summary - March 30, 2020:

Visitors restricted, online payment fees waived. The Story

Special Town Meeting - March 30 8a - ONLINE:

A Special Oriental Town Board Meeting Regarding The Stay At Home Order. The Story

SV Long Run, proudly showing off membership in the Whortonsville Yacht & Tractor Club. Long Run was in the harbor Sunday taking in Pirate Jam.

Tuesday May 26, 2020

12:50p Pamlico County has just had nine diagnosed COVID-19 cases so far. Pamlico County Emergency Services reports case #9 has now recovered. The press release at this link.

Statewide, the information is not so positive. There are now over 24,000 cases. Friday saw a new North Carolina record for new cases in a single day – there were 1,107.

8:48a NHC has updated the Special Tropical Weather Outlook this morning, but it says about what it did last night. Which is, we might get some rain & wind Tuesday/Wednesday.

Here’s a satellite view of the tropical disturbance:

Even without a tropical visitor, rain is in the forecast. Today, just cloudy. But Tuesday through Saturday has a 70% chance of rain, every day.

Monday May 25, 2020

6:50p It’s still not hurricane season, but a “tropical disturbance” is over Florida. From the National Hurricane Center, a Special Tropical Weather Outlook:

Widespread showers and thunderstorms extending across Florida, the Bahamas, and the adjacent Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico waters are associated with an elongated surface trough interacting with an upper-level disturbance. Although a weak surface low could form along the surface trough just off the east coast of Florida and move northward toward Georgia and South Carolina on Tuesday and Wednesday, the low is not expected to become a tropical cyclone due to strong upper-level winds.

Regardless of development, heavy rainfall could cause flash flooding over portions of southern and central Florida tonight, spreading northward to coastal sections of northeastern Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas on Tuesday and Wednesday. Gusty winds could also produce rough marine conditions and life-threatening surf and rip currents along the coasts of eastern Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas through Wednesday.
• Formation chance through 48 hours…low…20 percent.
• Formation chance through 5 days…low…20 percent.

1:22p The day started out with solid clouds, but partly cloudy skies are emerging for the afternoon.

12:59p At noon, 10 or so boats gathered outside the harbor, in front of the Oriental Bridge. Traffic on the bridge briefly slowed to a crawl, avoiding pedestrians and cyclists who’d stopped to listen. Have a listen yourself as Gordon Kellogg and Christine Mele play Taps:

9:15a It’s Memorial Day. A gravestone in the Oriental Cemetery illustrates why we have the day.

At noon, Gordon Kellogg and Christine Mele will play Taps from the Oriental Bridge.

Partly sunny today and tomorrow, and high in the mid to high 70s. But the rain will be back on Wednesday and hanging around until the weekend.

Sunday May 24, 2020

6:10p Pirate Jam continues til 7p, with about perfect weather. It was a little breezier than forecast (15-20 mph winds at times) but the boats and humans at Teachs Cove looked happy.

Salute to Pamlico Arts and Salt Water Gold for making it happen.

1:36 Shout-outs. You can get the band to do a highly amplified shout-out at today’s Pirate Jam. If could be congratulations. It could be lovey-dovey. The Pamlico Arts folks have decided you can request these shout-outs during the Pirate Jam. You just make your shout-out request with the online form. They are free for Pamlico Arts members, ten bucks (a donation to Pamlico Arts) otherwise. All on the honor system.

Make your shout-out happen by clicking here.

12:13p If you’re in the SailLoft area today, keep an eye out for two food-motivated escapees. The Chapins are looking for their two dogs: a yellow hound and a black/brown fox hound mix. FOUND.

10:30a This morning’s service from the Oriental United Methodist Church is now online.

8:51a Blackbeard is on the cover. There’s music today off Teachs Cove. Eddie Teach has today’s quote.

There might be a theme here.

6:30a Pirate Jam’s perfect day is emerging. After the fog lifts, mixed sun and clouds and a high in the low 80s.

On the Neuse light 5-10 knot northeast winds.

If you were up early you would have seen deep fog over town.

Saturday May 23, 2020

2:26p A week from today Nautical Wheelers holds a wine tasting… different from any you’ve attended. The Wheelers have hosted wine experts from Italy before – they were right there visiting the store in Oriental. This time the wine expert (Antonio Sanguinetti ) will be in Italy, joined by another (Jody Allen) in Florida. The Wheelers will be at their stores in Oriental and New Bern. And you? You’ll attend the wine tasting via Zoom. You might be in Oriental. Or Raleigh. Or anywhere on the third rock from the sun.

The Virtual Wine Tasting is Saturday May 30 at 1p. Four wines from Bocelli Family Vineyards. Your hosts in Italy and Florida will be pouring and describing the wines during the tasting. You’ll get to comment and ask questions while imbibing from your own bottles.

Here’s what ya do. Get a box of the 4 Bocelli Family Vineyard wines. Each box comes with Tasting Notes and Zoom instructions on how to join. Deadline to pre-order is 12p Wednesday, May 27. The 4 wines are offered at the VIP wine price of $60. Purchase at either Nautical Wheelers location or online at www.nauticalwheelersnc.com. Available for local curbside and in store pick-up.

9:07a Phase 2 is here. It will make life seem more “normal.” Oriental resident Dr Mac Ernest writes about how to stay safe while enjoying Phase 2.

The Cherry Branch / Minnesott Beach ferry is back on an almost normal schedule as of today. There are now 17 runs each way daily – up from just 6.

8:19a On Monday, Memorial Day, at noon, Trumpeters Gordon Kellogg and Christine Mele will play Taps from the top of the Oriental Bridge.

If you’re nearby pause to listen.

8:04a It’s been days since one could state the following: It didn’t rain last night. Finally, last night it was true.

Mixed clouds and sun today. The hour-by-hour ‘cast shows an increasing chance of rain after 3p. That wet potential moved the Pirate Jam to Sunday, 3 til 7p.

Easy boating this weekend, 5-10 knot winds today & Sunday on the Neuse.

Friday May 22, 2020

5:12p Phase 2 has begun. Most restaurants in Oriental are now open with inside dining.

While restaurants are getting to re-open tonight, New Village Brewery still has to be take-out during North Carolina’s Phase 2. They are open for take-out – visit the window in the beer garden or call 252-249-6132. Open today 3 til 7p, Saturday 1 to 7p.

The Silos restaurant has chosen not to open for inside dining right away. Chris Daniels states “I’m concerned for the safety of both my employees and customers, and I’m not comfortable opening our inside dining on one of the busiest weekends of the year.” The Silos dining area may re-open next week, but no date has yet been stated. Meanwhile, they are open for take-out Tuesday – Saturday, 11a – 9p. Call 252-249-1050 or order online at www.silosnc.com.

M&Ms Cafe welcomes customers back for inside dining tonight, and also take-out. To see all M&Ms Menu and Special options – click here. Open 7 days a week, 11a-8p. Call M&Ms to order takeout, 252-249-2000.

3:08p The state COVID-19 site shows Pamlico County with 10 cases as of today. It turns out that there are still only 9. Pamlico County Director Of Emergency Management Chris Murray tells TownDock it appears to be a data error on the state site:

There is not a 10th case in Pamlico County at this time. Initially reported that there was however, it has been determined that the case belongs to another county that is not near us and seems to have been possibly a wrong address or zip code mistake.

2:50p The Pirate Jam is being moved to Sunday. Right now the forecast is close to a 50-50 chance of rain. Chris Daniels has to set up thousands of dollars of music equipment (out in the open) to make this happen. Sunday has a perfect sunny dry forecast. So – Pirate Jam 2020 has been moved to Sunday May 24, 3 til 7p.

1:50p Ferry service will increase its schedule starting Saturday:

From Cherry Branch: 5 a.m., 5:45 a.m., 6:45 a.m., 7:45 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon, 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 10 p.m.
From Minnesott Beach: 5:25 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 7:15 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m., 11 p.m.

All new NC Ferry Schedules at this link.

11:01a Hope Clinic’s $10,000 Golden Raffle Ticket winner braved COVID-19 restrictions to pick up his $10,000 check from Hope Clinic headquarters Thursday. Pictured are the winner, Stanley Feigenbaum and Yolanda Cristiani, Annette Jenkins, April Worley, and Kim Stewart from Hope Clinic.

The 2020 Hope Clinic Virtual Regala was a fundraising success. Executive Director Yolanda Cristiani writes in with thanks to all who made it happen.

10:35a Pamlico County has 9 diagnosed cases of COVID-19. When you look at the state COVID site for cases via zip code, you will only see 8. That’s because zip code 28560 is in both Craven and Pamlico counties. Zip code 28560 shows 39 cases.

TownDock has been able to determine that 38 of those cases are in Craven County – and 1 is in Pamlico County. So we created a zip code map for our county with current case numbers:

(click map for larger view)

The last case announced in Pamlico County was on May 18. Eight of the nine cases of Coronavirus have been deemed recovered. Pamlico County has had no deaths thus far.

Statewide, it is a different story. Over 21,000 cases diagnosed as of today, and over 740 deaths.

North Carolina’s Phase 2, gradually re-opening the state, kicks in today at 5p.

7:24a Another 1 1/4 inches of rain dumped overnight. Yet, the morning brings a magical sight. While the sky at this writing is cloudy almost everywhere, there are some patches of blue. By 10a there should be more blue, although a clear day is not ahead. Mostly cloudy / mixed clouds and sun for mid morning through the afternoon.

Rain, that guest that won’t leave, is forecast to return late tonight & overnight. Saturday may start wet, but right now the forecast indicates it should be dry and sunny in time for the Saturday now Sunday 3p start of the Pirate Jam.

Saturday morning, if the forecast looks wet, Pirate Jam organizers will announce the event gets moved to the rain date – Sunday May 24. However, right now Saturday is the day. The Pirate Jam has been moved to Sunday May 24.

Thursday May 21, 2020

3:14p A beer goes well when it’s sunny & clear. But they drink a lot of beer in Seattle and London – word is a brew helps with dealing with the wet weather.

At New Village Brewery they just might have some beer. While restaurants are getting to re-open Friday night, the Brewery still has to be take-out during North Carolina’s Phase 2.
This week on tap are these New Village Brews: Whitecap American White Ale, Chuck Will’s Widow Black IPA and Red Beard’s Brown Ale. Open today & Friday 3 til 7p, Saturday 1 to 7p. Just visit the take-out window in the beer garden or call 252-249-6132. Grab some beer for Saturday’s Pirate Jam.

2:02p This morning trawler Lady Deborah left her berth, and tied lines on a larger trawler being worked on at Point Pride Seafood in the harbor. The Lady Deborah became a tow boat, towing the larger vessel away. It appeared to work OK, except just as entering the channel the vessel being towed went aground. A small push tug assisted. Visiting sailor Martijn Dijkstra got video of the scene:

1:27p Since midnight, another inch of rain has fallen. Homer Walden captured this view of the heavy rains earlier today, taken from The Bean porch:

click photo for the big wet view

1:02p Gardening is an art. Rachel Tipton of Harbourside Garden Company shows you how. Click here, gardening art enthusiast.

7:20a The gloomy monsoons continue. Thunderstorms could be heard in Oriental early this morning. Water levels are still high, although a few inches lower than at this time yesterday.

It’s rained a lot lately. Over 8 inches this month, and almost all of it this week. Monday (Arthur) 3.71 inches, Tuesday 0.95 inches, Wednesday 1.68 inches. Today… TBD. Here’s a review of climate numbers so far this month from the Oriental Weather Station:

click table for larger view

Today, more showers. Highs mid 70s. Southeast winds 15 to 20 mph, gusts up to 30. Tonight, more of the same, low in the upper 60s.

Friday is forecast to start off wet, then a partly sunny afternoon. Highs just over 80.

Oriental NC Forecast
Oriental Weather Station
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar
TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online

Wednesday May 20, 2020

7:00p It’s Open Mic Night at The Silos. Come on in and sit a spell.

5:37p Governor Cooper has announced Phase Two. Locally, it means most restaurants in Oriental will open for inside dining Friday at 5p. Here’s the story…

4:30p Tonight at 7p, a very special Open Mic Night. It will be on TownDock at 7p.

NC Governor Roy Cooper is expected to announce Phase 2 of re-opening the state in a news conference today at 5p. We will have the UNC-TV feed live right here:

12:55p Since the COVID-19 crisis began, the Cherry Branch to Minnesott Beach Ferry has been on a limited 6 run schedule:
• From Cherry Branch: 6 am, 8am, 10am, noon, 2pm and 4pm.
• From Minnesott Beach: 7a.m, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm and 5pm.

ferry logo TownDock contacted Cherry Branch operations today to inquire if that would change for the coming holiday weekend. Right now, they are saying it will stay on the limited schedule above. Governor Cooper is expected to announce later today that Phase Two will begin as early as Friday. We will inquire with the ferry service again tomorrow if that will change anything.

9:27a At this morning’s budget meeting, Commissioners agreed to keep the current property tax rate for the 20-21 town budget. Oriental has held the same rate, .22/100, since 2016.

Over an inch and a quarter of rain this morning, with more rain to come. Winds are ENE, 15-20 mph and gusts up to 30. You may have to leap up into your boat: sustained east winds bring higher waters.

This evening’s Wednesday Night sail is for the exceedingly hardy: E winds 20-25k, gusts up to 30k. There’s a small craft advisory in effect until tomorrow afternoon.

Oriental NC Forecast
Oriental Weather Station
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar
Southeast Weather Radar
TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online

Tuesday May 19, 2020

7:13p The next town budget meeting is Wednesday at 8a. The Board of Commissioners will discuss the General Fund Expenses and Revenues, and the Water Fund. The Public is welcome to attend.

Zoom instructions and draft budget spreadsheets are here.

2:35p Arthur is now Post-Tropical Cyclone Arthur. While he has gone from our lives, the remnants of the storm will bring wind & rain to Bermuda Thursday.

Hopefully that’s it for May. The tropical storm / hurricane season officially starts June 1. The 2020 storm names are: Arthur, Bertha, Cristobal, Dolly, Edouard, Fay, Gonzalo, Hanna, Isaias, Josephine, Kyle, Laura, Marco, Nana, Omar, Paulette, Rene, Sally, Teddy, Vicky and Wilfred.

11:19a This Saturday was supposed to be Silospalooza – an outdoor music event at the Red Rooster Bar behind The Silos. Social distancing has eliminated crowded venues as a near term option – so a different plan was hatched. A music event where you attend in your boat – it’s the Pirate Jam this Saturday.

Pamlico Arts is the primary sponsor for the Pirate Jam. They’ve added a wrinkle where you can participate. For ten bucks (it goes to Pamlico Arts) you can shout-out your congratulations to your friends, your loved one, tell someone thanks, or wish them Happy Birthday/Anniversary. You could even send a loving insult. Send in a shout-out and it will be read on stage during the Pirate Jam.

6:50a Arthur has moved on, but you’ll still need that rain gear. Showers, with a slight chance of thunderstorms, are forecast through Thursday.

Today, 10-15 mph NE winds and gusts up to 30. High near 70.

TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online
Oriental NC Forecast
Oriental Weather Station
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar
Southeast Weather Radar

Monday May 18, 2020

4:03p HarborCam is back in operation.

2:57p Arty is on his way oughta here – on an offshore voyage to his final sad dissipation. Arthur may have had more impact on the Outer Banks, but in Oriental not much. High wind 31 mph at 4:38a this morning. We did get almost 3 3/4 inches of rain.

Tropical Storm Arthur Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Arthur Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Tropical Storm Arthur Public Advisory

1:31p This Saturday was scheduled to be Silospalooza at The Silos. A certain virus cancelled that – but there still is going to be music this Saturday. Chris Daniels at The Silos has teamed up with the Pamlico County Arts Council – they have created the Pirate Jam. Read on…

11:38a A ninth case of coronavirus has been diagnosed in Pamlico County. Here is the press release. Eight previous cases have been deemed recovered. Pamlico County has had no deaths.

Craven County has 127 cases with 4 deaths, Carteret has 36 cases and 3 deaths.

A rise in new cases statewide was reported over the weekend; 853 on Saturday, the most in one day so far. North Carolina now has over 19,000 lab confirmed occurrences of the virus.

Keep up to date on the coronavirus numbers in North Carolina here.

11:05a Reports from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft sent offshore indicate that the maximum sustained winds from Arthur are near 50 mph, with higher gusts.

However, inland it’s a bit calmer. Reports from a TownDock.net reconnaissance human in Oriental indicate that the maximum sustained winds from Arthur are about 20mph.

The center of Storm Arthur is now passing just southeast of Cape Hatteras. Storm Arty is kindly moving along at zippy 16 mph.

While Arty didn’t deliver us much wind, he continues to rain. Now 3.68 inches and still falling.

10:07a It’s trash time. Trash pickup in Oriental was delayed this morning to miss storm Arty. The trucks are out and about now… so get those cans out there.

Today is a trash and recycling day.

8:27a Arthur will be remembered for his soggy personality. Now almost 3 1/2 inches of rain has fallen.

Tropical Storm Arthur was 50 miles ESE of Morehead City at 8a. Max winds remain at 45 mph – somewhere out at sea. Here it’s blowing in the teens, and at times less. Arthur is hauling &^% – moving at 15 mph as he passes by.

Tropical Storm Arthur Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Arthur Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Tropical Storm Arthur Public AdvisoryNOAA Newport NC Latest Briefing
TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online
Oriental NC Forecast
Oriental Weather Station
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar
Southeast Weather Radar

Storm Arthur fashion:

7:34a We now have hit 3 inches of rain accumulation since midnight.

A tropical storm isn’t stopping the caffeine biz. Barista Katie is serving coffee at The Bean this morning. Flooding on Hodges is minimal (see photo below). The Bean is currently open Open 7:30a – 6p Mon – Thurs, and 7:30a – 7p Fri & Sun.

Hours for all Oriental businesses are at this link.

6:49a Winds have fallen, now at times in the single digits. A blistering 9 mph NNW right now. High wind overnight was 31 mph at 4:38a.

6:30a 2.75” of rain has fallen. By Oriental’s Duck Pond near the harbor, frogs and bugs and birds sound happy:

6:22a High water? Not much. Here’s the scene on Hodges Street just a few minutes ago.

5:27a Rain total now over 2 inches.

4:59a Arty is wetter than initially expected – rainfall now at 1.70 inches and more coming. Estimates now are up to 3 inches, perhaps more in “isolated areas.” Feeling isolated?

High wind so far at the Oriental Weather Station 31 mph at 4:38a. Cherry Point reports a 39mph wind gust.

The center of Arthur is about 85 miles south of Morehead City. The storm is moving fast, now 14 mph NNE. Fast is good – it means Arty won’t hang around long. Peak sustained storm winds remain at 45 mph. The center of Arthur will approach the NC coast of in a few hours, and then begin to move east and away.

4:03a Arty is no howler, but he is wet. Just over an inch of rain now.

Here’s Arty from the NOAA Goes East satellite:

Arty looks a bit more like the Pillsbury Doughboy than a mean tropical system.

3:07a High wind so far 28 mph a couple minutes ago. Rain accumulation less than an inch thus far – 0.70. The winds are NE to ENE. Water levels are rising… but not even two feet yet. Nothing that would merit the word “flooding.”

From the Oriental Weather Station, the barometer dives. Winds are trying to rise, but they were higher Sunday at noon:

click image for larger view

2:55a This is almost peak Arthur. Right now Arty is about 180 miles SSW of Cape Hatteras. Peak winds 45 mph, but those winds are not here. The storm is moving at 12 mph NNE. Arty won’t be around long.

The center of Tropical Storm Arthur will approach the coast of North Carolina during the next several hours, and then move near or just east of the coast of North Carolina later today. The storm is then forecast to turn away from the coast and head east & out to sea.

Sunday May 17, 2020

8:22p Tropical Storm Arthur will pass close, but if the forecast track holds true the storm will be far enough offshore that we will only be grazed by Arthur. The storm still has 45 mph winds, moving at 9mph.

Oriental and Pamlico County might see 40mph, but much more is unlikely. We’ll be fine.

5:01p Arthur’s outer rain bands are visible in the radar above as the storm approaches the NC coast. At 5p Tropical Storm Arthur is 275 miles SSW of Caper Hatteras. Max winds 45 mph, moving NNE at 9 mph.

The highest winds from Arthur’s visit locally will likely be in the overnight hours. Arthur may have 50mph winds as the storm passes, however we are unlikely to see winds beyond 40mph. Rain forecast for Oriental/Pamlico County is just 1 to 1.5 inches.

Hurricane season officially starts June 1. Thanks to Arthur, we may be more ready than usual.

1:03p High wind so far today 31mph a few minutes before noon.

10:30a Attending church before a tropical storm visits is recommended by many. With that in mind, today’s Sunday Service from Oriental United Methodist Church is now online.

9:58a Don’t put that trash can out today or tonight. Due to Tropical Storm Arthur, trash pickup in Oriental is delayed Monday until 10a. From Diane at Town Hall:

We are delaying the start of trash pickup to 10 am (from 7am) in the hopes that the worst is passed by then). Oriental residents should NOT put their trash to the street until tomorrow. This will avoid trash blowing all over and cans being knocked over.

9:31a You can feel something is coming. Winds from the NNE around 20 mph already.

Tropical Storm Arthur Tracking Chart
Tropical Storm Arthur Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Tropical Storm Arthur Public Advisory
TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online
Latest Storm Briefing

9:23a Wilma Kennedy writes in:

I wanted to let you know that Jeff Tomczak… “Chef Jeff” that used to run the Steamer restaurant/bar died yesterday from a lengthy battle with cancer.
We couldn’t find a photo of Chef Jeff, but here is a view through the window of the Steamer Bar in December 2015 (a few days before it closed).

8:05a In the latest NOAA Newport office briefing, a prediction of 1 to 1.5 inches of rain. This agrees with the TownDock HQ magic 8 ball rain forecast.

What will we see Monday? 30mph winds likely. 40 mph possible. 50 mph not likely.

Winds will be east today, becoming northeast tonight and Monday. Water levels will rise. Some modest flooding is expected.

6:45a Storm Arthur is on the mind this morning. But Arthur will pass, and then you may be thinking about doing some area boating.

All boating has to take in some areas to avoid, but our local waters include something perhaps more interesting. Prohibited Zones – which are used for military bombing practice. Captain John Rahm used to bomb these very targets, so he is a particularly good source on what they are all about. Bombing targets – the subject in the latest Captain’s Blog.

5:35a The Tropical Storm Watch has been changed to a Tropical Storm Warning from Surf City to Duck, North Carolina, including Pamlico and Albermarle Sounds. The warning area includes Oriental, and all of Pamlico County.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within 36 hours.

At 5:00a, the center of Tropical Storm Arthur was located near latitude 30.0 North, longitude 77.6 West, about 380 miles SSW of Cape Hatteras. Arthur has max winds of 40mph, with higher gusts. The storm is moving toward the north-northeast at 9 mph. On the forecast track, Arthur remains well offshore of Florida, Georgia,and South Carolina today, however will be near or just east of the coast of North Carolina Monday.

Some strengthening is forecast before Arthur’s visit, with max winds of 50mph forecast Monday. Tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles from the center. On the current track, Oriental would be right on the outer edge of that.

Re rainfall, this morning’s 5a NHC Public Advisory states “Arthur is expected to produce total rain accumulations of 1 to 3 inches over coastal North Carolina tonight and Monday, with locally higher amounts.” The local NOAA office has a graphic showing us getting a maximum of 1 inch.

The magic 8 ball suggests about an inch, maybe a bit more.

Saturday May 16, 2020

11:00p The storm has been upgraded – and blessed with a name. Tropical Storm Arthur.

The Hurricane Hunter Aircraft tonight found the system had strengthened to a tropical storm. Arthur is currently about 420 miles SSW of Cape Hatteras. Maximum winds now 40mph, moving NNE at 13 mph. That relatively fast movement will minimize what we experience… Arthur won’t be visiting very long.

Arthur’s is forecast to be near Monday morning, with max 50 mph winds. We may not see winds at that level, however. The current track would keep the highest winds offshore or at coastal locations significantly east of Oriental. Still, one should plan for winds over 30 mph. A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for our area. Arthur is not forecast to bring a lot of rain – maybe an inch.

5:15p We have storm number one of the 2020 season. Tropical Depression One.

Tropical Depression One Tracking Chart
Tropical Depression One Forecaster’s Discussion & Computer Models
Tropical Depression One Public Advisory
NOAA Newport NC Tropical Depression One Briefing

This will like become Tropical Storm Arthur Sunday. We’ll get some wind and rain Monday… but it appears (so far) just the outer edge of a small tropical storm. The storm is expected to have peak 50mph winds as it passes, but those peak winds may just be at sea. Still, planning for winds above 30 mph would be prudent. NOAA Newport NC says 39-57 mph winds are possible in their briefing. The NHC wind prediction graphic has us at a 20-30% chance of getting tropical storm force winds.

The storm passing to our east will create north/northeast winds, so some flooding would be expected. This isn’t expected to be a high rainfall event – perhaps just about an inch.

2:28p A visit (or near visit) from a May storm is seeming more likely. The computer model’s forecast tracks are mostly offshore, but some are rather local:

This is no biggy, but it will be an early season warning of the season ahead. From the National Hurricane Center:

Data from the Air Force Hurricane Hunters and satellite images indicate that the low pressure system located just off the coast of east-central Florida has become better defined today. In addition, the associated showers and thunderstorms continue to gradually organize. If these trends continues, advisories will likely be initiated on this system as a tropical or subtropical depression later today. Later in the weekend and early next week, the system is expected to move generally northeastward over the western Atlantic near or east of the Carolinas.
A Hurricane Hunter aircraft is scheduled to further investigate the system tonight. The complete Tropical Weather Outlook here.

9:09a The potential storm – is still a potential storm. It is expected to be declared a tropical depression later today. From NHC:

Satellite images and surface observations indicate that the low is gradually becoming better defined, but the associated showers and thunderstorms remain disorganized. Continued gradual development is expected, and the system is likely to become a tropical or subtropical depression or storm later today or tonight while it moves north-northeastward over the Atlantic waters east of Florida. Later in the weekend and early next week, the system is expected to move generally northeastward over the western Atlantic near or east of the Carolinas.
Here are the computer models on Invest 90. It is tracking offshore, but kinda close:

A few minutes after 9, and it’s already 78. The forecast high is 81… it seems like it will get warmer than forecast.

Oriental NC Forecast
Oriental Weather Station
TownDock streams NOAA Weather Radio Online
Neuse River Marine Forecast
Pamlico Sound Marine Forecast
Newport Morehead City NC Weather Radar

Friday May 15, 2020

6:14p For tonight, and for the weekend – M&Ms Cafe has new dinner specials:

To see all M&Ms Menu and Special options – click here. Open 7 days a week, 11a-8p. Delivery available for orders over $25. Call M&Ms to order takeout, 252-249-2000.

6:02p New Village Brewery has Oriental-brewed beers on tap for take-out until 7p tonight. They are back Saturday from 1 – 7p.

3:01p Stanley Feigenbaum won the $10k Golden Ticket Raffle for the Hope Clinic Regala. You may know Stanley if you’ve visited the Oriental Boat Show – Stanley runs Beta Marine. Congratulations Stanley!

You can still bid at the online auction here until 5p tonight.

2:56p Hope Clinic Director Yolanda Cristiani and Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis draws the winning $10k Golden Raffle Ticket for the Virtual Hope Regala at 3p. Click play and watch live:

12:02p Back in January TownDock published a news story titled Water Gauge to Return. In the article we passed along what we were told by the state – that the gauge would return in March or April.

Well, here we are… in the middle of May. There may be a pandemic going on, but hurricane season is almost here. The Oriental water level gauge is still broken – it has been since Hurricane Florence in 2018.

So we gave David Herlong a call this morning. David is with the Flood Warning Program at the NC Department of Safety. David was apologetic, but said Oriental was one of several locations now going out for bid for installation. The estimate is that Oriental’s water level gauge will likely be back some time in June, with July as a possible outside date.

As well as Oriental being repaired, so is the gauge at Cedar Island. Three new gauges are being installed, including one in Pamlico County. It will be at Hobucken, installed at Mayo’s Seafood. The other gauges will be in Englehard and Mathews Island Wildlife Refuge.

Getting off the phone with David Herlong, he closed with “We are really anxious to get this done.”

Here’s the January 2020 story – Water Gauge To Return.

11:35a Today is the last day of the Virtual Hope Regala Auction – click here to see the auction action.

Today at 3p is the $10,000 Golden Raffle drawing – it will be done live on TownDock.net. Sheriff Chris Davis will pull the lucky winner. Just be here at 3p for the live drawing.

8:44a Sunny and 80 today – and the same for Saturday.

On the Neuse light winds, 5 to 10 today, just 5 knots Saturday. It’s all warm and calm weekend weather.

This weekend ODC (Oriental Dinghy Club) starts up its 2020 racing season. While some races are formal affairs with fancy registration, this one isn’t.

Saturday at 1p (that’s 1300 hours) ODC hosts an informal small boat race. No registration required. From ODC Commodore Todd Cox:

We will hold a day of “races” on the 16th.  I will be at one of the Oriental Harbor government marks (just outside the harbor) with my 20’ skiff.  I will have flags and starter horn, I will have set an inflatable in the river.  I will conduct starts for multiple short Windward/Leeward courses and perhaps end with a Green’s Creek type course.
Scores are for bragging rights only… honor system is invoked; no protests.
I expect to be anchored and ready to start at 1300.  Course will be announced by hail and passed along.  This one is strictly about having fun under sail.

Todd tells TownDock that coming later in the month, probably Saturday May 30, will be an event hosted by NCO (Nautical Co-op of Oriental – all three local sailing clubs working together) that will be in the spirit of the annual January 1 “Instead Of Football Regatta.” Name of event and more details coming in a few days.

The latest on the potential (and likely) storm forming in the gulf…. from NHC:

A trough of low pressure (Invest 90) located over the Straits of Florida continues to produce disorganized shower activity and gusty winds across the Florida Keys, portions of southeast Florida, and the northwestern Bahamas. Gradual development of this system is expected, and it will likely become a tropical or subtropical storm on Saturday when it is located near the northwestern Bahamas. Later in the weekend and early next week, the system is expected to move generally northeastward over the western Atlantic.
Dangerous surf conditions and rip currents are possible along portions of the southeast U.S. coast this weekend and early next week. The Air Force Reserve Hurricane Hunter aircraft scheduled to investigate the system today has been canceled, but an aircraft is scheduled to investigate the disturbance tomorrow, if necessary.
• Formation chance through 48 hours…high…80 percent.
• Formation chance through 5 days…high…80 percent.