PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- The Port of Hampton Roads is prohibiting commercial vessels from entering and departing the Chesapeake Bay on Tuesday morning, due to the threat of severe weather.

The US Coast Guard says officials set Port Condition X-Ray beginning at 8:30 a.m. The condition means gale force winds are expeced to reach the Virginia capes within 24 hours.

Beginning at 10 a.m., the port was closed to deep sea traffic, unless it is granted by the Captain of the Port.

In a news release, the Port said the following:

Duration of closure: The length of the closure will depend on the actual wind and weather conditions. Currently, the closure is anticipated to last into the evening Tuesday. The COTP Hampton Roads will release further updates regarding the length of the closure or reopening the port.

Movement within the Port: Vessels will be permitted to move within the port, but should do so with extreme caution. Additionally, deep draft vessels anchored in the vicinity of Cape Charles are required to ask permission from the COTP if the vessel intends to transit within the port.

Vessels Transiting from Baltimore: Deep draft vessels intending to transit from Baltimore, exiting the Chesapeake Bay, will not be permitted to transit south of York Spit Channel Buoys 37 (Light List Number 7225) and 38 (LLNR 7230) during the port closure.

Special Consideration: If a vessel or vessel representative believes there are circumstances that require a vessel to arrive or depart during the time of this restriction, they may request an exception from the COTP. Facility operators and agents should contact the Sector Hampton Roads office at (757) 638-6635 to request permission for vessels anticipating to enter the Chesapeake Bay.