Further south, down at Cape Hatteras, the seas were building a bit larger, but nothing to worry about. They figured it was a small gale, common in those waters. The folks on Hatteras Island were accustomed to stormy weather due to their location near where the southward flowing and cold Labrador Current and the larger, but slower warm Gulf Stream clash. At Cape Point near the Hatteras Lighthouse, geysers of water sprayed upward toward the heavens at the point of meeting. It always looked frightening but was common any time the seas were fairly rough.
As the day went on, some rain ensued and the winds remained steady, but the weather forecast still reported that a nor'easter would come by in the morning over the entire Outer Banks. It indicated that Tuesday might have gale force winds approaching forty-five miles an hour with rough seas and significant rainfall but, once again, this was not an unusual forecast for the region and everyone ended that day, planning to have another typical day on the ocean, just with rain gear in hand all day.
But something happened on the way to Tuesday, March 6th. A ridge of strong high pressure formed to the north of the system and with it, the motion to the north of the storm would stall. The stall would take place right off the Outer Banks, with only a hint of motion coming. No one knew it yet, but Tuesday, March 6, 1962 would be the first day of the Great Ash Wednesday Storm of 1962, a storm which would go down in the record books as one of the top ten Atlantic storms on the Eastern Seaboard in the twentieth century.
Want to know more? We'll continue the story tomorrow and Thursday as we remember the Great Ash Wednesday Storm and what it signifies to this day.