Complex weekend forecast....

>> Friday, April 20, 2012

I encourage you to watch today's edition of the video....docked below. Lots to talk about ahead.

The big weather story this weekend is an area of low pressure moving and strengthening from the northern Gulf and then up the Carolina coast into the Northeast US. This low pressure will wind up dumping impressive amounts of rain in eastern sections of the Carolinas.

How far inland the heavy rain totals make it remains a question mark. This could very well be a scenario where the I-95 area over to the coast picks up multiple inches of rain while areas from I-85 west get under an inch....and maybe well under and inch in the foothills and mountains.

Most of the rain with this system will be later Saturday night into Sunday, although there will be some showers and storms with the cold front Saturday afternoon. 

Behind the system, some chilly air will arrive. Some locations could again have some frost issues by Tuesday or Wednesday morning.


Drying out today...weekend system question marks...

>> Thursday, April 19, 2012

Low clouds will slowly erode with time today. How quickly the clouds erode will determine how warm we get, so that is the forecast challenge today.

I will go ahead and throw in the chance of a few PM showers and storms tomorrow. The atmosphere will be pretty moist, and that combined with daytime heating tomorrow will likely be enough for a few storms.

Weekend system...

There have been some adjustment on some recent model runs with the weekend system. Not a lot of changes for Saturday. A cold front will move in and give us the chance of some showers and storms.

Questions marks arise for Sunday. The recent trend in modeling has been for a slightly less intense and further east track of the low pressure near the coast. In response to that, the heavy rain really stays in eastern sections of the Carolinas.

So, time will tell, but our Sunday forecast might wind up to be a whole lot less rainy than it looked earlier this week. But for the time being, I will leave in rain chances Sunday and see how more modeling plays out.


Rain at times today...

>> Wednesday, April 18, 2012

We had some showers and storms move through during the night. Some of the storms produced some prolific lightning.

Today, we will have some rain at times along with cooler temps. There will be a big spread in temps from northwest to southeast, but the I-85 corridor should primarily be in the 60s. A few rumbles of thunder are also possible today, but no severe weather.

Tomorrow and Friday look quiet, but then a big system will impact the region this weekend. I don't have any real changes in my thinking on this one from yesterday. A big upper air low will form over the Southeast, and that will crank a surface low that forms near the Gulf coast then moves up close to the Carolina coast.

The result looks to be some shower and storm chances by later Saturday, then the potential for some heavy rain later Saturday night through Sunday. Depending on how things unfold, some flooding issues could materialize as we head into Sunday.

If you like the weather, the system this weekend will be interesting to watch. The European model actually has a complete phase with the upper air low and another piece of energy diving in from the north. The result is a powerhouse low that slowly moves up the coast.

On the Euro solution, taken at face value, some snow looks possible underneath the upper low up in the mountains. But that is kind of the extreme solution at this point, so I wouldn't bank on it just yet.


Complex forecast....

>> Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lots of forecast challenges ahead, beginning today. A cold front is sliding into the region, and as we head into this afternoon, some showers and a few storms will be possible. I can't rule out some wind-producing storms, in especially southern NC and then down into South Carolina and Georgia. A 'slight' risk from the SPC covers those areas.

Tomorrow still has the appearance of a cool, occasionally rainy day for areas west of I-95. It still looks like the Triad will struggle to reach the 60 degree mark for highs.

Thursday and Friday will be quiet, but then we gear up for a big weekend storm system. The general idea is that an upper level low will cut off somewhere over the Southeast, but exactly where remains impossible to tell.

As it stands now, we could see showers and storms Saturday followed by lots of rain Sunday. Subject to change though...

Watch the video today...lots of graphics to go along with this discussion.


One Year Ago Today....

>> Monday, April 16, 2012

Last April 16 was a red-letter day in North Carolina weather history. April 16, 2011 ranks right up there with March 28, 1984 as the two worst tornado outbreaks in our state's history.

24 North Carolinians lost their lives that day one year ago, and hundreds were injured. 30 confirmed tornadoes occurred, which is the highest one-day total in NC history.

Last April 16 was the first time the Raleigh NWS had used the 'Tornado Emergency' wording, and it was also a 'high' risk day.

I was working on-air for the Triad market of News 14 Carolina. The first tornado warning of the day worked its way through parts of the Triad area, and then things really exploded as the storms entered the Triangle and Sandhills regions.

I remember vividly the concern really growing by late-morning. It had become apparent that the instability was through the roof, and that instability was going to combine with incredible dynamics to create extremely high tornado potential in the eastern half of NC.

By early afternoon, we saw a scene that became all-too common last year....a tornado, live on television, moving into a heavily populated area. This specific tornado was moving into Raleigh.

I was in awe watching the radar that afternoon and evening. Seemingly every single storm that developed quickly went severe and then tornadic. That outbreak produced some of the most well-defined tornadic signatures you can see on radar, and I remember how so many of the signatures had a debris ball, meaning that was a tornado, on the ground, producing damage. This was something else that happened way, way too much last year in all of the horrible tornado outbreaks.

The North Carolina portion of that outbreak was on Day 3 of a 3-day severe weather outbreak that began in the Plains, then moved to the Deep South, and then into the Carolinas. On a normal year, this would have been the big outbreak of the year. However, last year was far from a normal year. Little did we know at that point that we were 10 days from a Superoutbreak.

Here are a couple of links on the April 16 tornado outbreak:

NCSU Case Study on the event

Wikipedia entry with lots of info


Warm and breezy today...but changes coming...

After a quiet weather week last week, a difference scenario is now set to unfold. We will have lots going on in the weather department over the next week to ten days.

First of all, warm, dry, breezy conditions today with sunshine and highs in the low and mid 80s.

A cold front will drop into the region tomorrow, and as soon as tonight, a few showers could work into portions of the region. Tomorrow will feature a chance of showers at times, and there will likely be a big spread in temps from north to south.

That cold front will likely be located across South Carolina by Wednesday, and at that point in time, an area of low pressure will ride along the front and give much of North Carolina a fairly chilly rain. Many spots in the foothills and Piedmont might be in the 50s all day with that rain.

Thursday and Friday look quiet, but then a big piece of upper level energy will dive in this weekend and will likely form a cut-off upper level low.

This will be a complex setup, but the general idea could be some showers and storms Saturday followed by some chilly rain Saturday night and Sunday as a coastal low forms and strengthens.

See the video for more on all of this...


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