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May 9: Warming Trend Kicks In Today

WEATHER

After a cool start this morning, temperatures will warm up rapidly -- and this is just the very beginning of a prolonged stretch of warm weather that will last into much of next week. Some lingering cloud cover along the Coastal Plain will put the brakes on the warm-up initially this morning, but abundant sunshine elsewhere will push temperatures up to around 80 degrees this afternoon:

We'll start Thursday morning in the 50s, which is close to average for mid-May:

Strong southwesterly winds will help boost temperatures well into the 80s by Thursday afternoon: A cold front will approach from the northwest by late Thursday afternoon, bringing us a chance of scattered thunderstorms late in the day. The RPM model's radar simulation shows the best chance of storms entering Person county around 4pm, moving through the Triangle around rush hour, and off the Coastal Plain already by sunset: The severe threat looks low, but not zero -- the moisture levels and wind field won't support widespread severe thunderstorms, but it's possible that a few storms could "overachieve" and produce 60+mph wind gusts or 1"+ diameter hail. The Storm Prediction Center's ensemble model (basically a blend of a couple dozen individual forecast models) estimates a 20-30% chance of favorable severe thunderstorm ingredients Thursday from 4pm to 8pm: The SPC's official outlook outlines a "Marginal Risk" (level 1 of 5) of severe storms along and west of I-85: My guess is that more of central North Carolina will eventually be included in that risk area, but I don't think the ingredients will warrant a higher threat category. Either way, don't re-arrange your life around this storm chance...just stay weather-aware, and we'll keep you updated.

The cold front really won't bring much of a temperature change -- we'll still reach the mid to upper 80s on Friday, and we'll make it all the way up to around 90 degrees both Saturday and Sunday. The European forecast model has been trending even warmer, to the mid 90s...that's a little aggressive for this time of year, especially since the humidity will be climbing as well. The humidity will yield a few pop-up storms each afternoon, just a 20% chance:

The weather pattern turns unsettled next week -- there's no individual day that looks like a washout, but our shower and storm chances will increase...the additional cloud cover means slightly cooler temperatures, but we'll still be running at least a few degrees above average.

 

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