Winter storms complete demise of Shelly Island

Posted at 1:12 PM, Mar 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-12 10:08:52-04

Remember Shelly Island, the island that popped up in summer 2017? It's officially gone, according to NASA.

Scientists say that the weather conditions were just right for this island to form off the North Carolina coast last year. 

"Winds were strong enough to stir up the waves and currents that carry sand alongshore from the more northerly barrier islands toward the cape," NASA said on its website. "Then winds became calm enough for that sand transport to be halted by obstacles such as circular currents within Hatteras Bight and the expansive shoals of the cape."

And for the second half of the summer, tourists flocked to the area. 


A few months after it formed, it disappeared, as hurricanes battered the area. 

"Erosion occurs all of the time on barrier islands, but it was especially acute in the fall when it was fueled by a series of hurricanes, including Irma and Jose in early September, and Hurricane Maria later that month," NASA said.

NASA says the storms slip the island - "one half became connected to the tip of the cape, while the other tiny remnant remained isolated."

Last week, NASA released a new satellite image to show the island completely gone. 


"Winter storms continued to batter what was left of the island and wash it away," NASA said. "Despite the public attention paid to the rise and fall of Shelly Island, such swift changes are common along barrier island systems."

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