December 28: Wet, Windy And Warm

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We’re dealing with wet weather for the third Friday in a row — to be honest, it feels like the 30th straight wet Friday. Waves of rain will move through today and early tonight, with a few lulls in between:The HRRR model’s radar simulation from 9:00am through 9:00pm shows the morning rain moving off to the northeast by midday, then a line of honest-to-goodness thunderstorms moving in late this afternoon:At this point, the Storm Prediction Center has only included us in a “Marginal Risk” (level 1 of 5) of severe weather:I’m a little uneasy about that, though. It’s going to be unseasonably warm……it will be unseasonably humid, with dew points in the mid 60s……and there’s a lot of wind energy in the atmosphere overhead, including right here at ground level……and that checks most of the boxes on our severe weather “recipe card”:The one thing we lack is a significant layer of cold air in the upper atmosphere — and it’s certainly possible that the other ingredients won’t coincide at exactly the right time to enhance our severe risk. Still, we’ll keep a close eye on the radar as that second line of storm rolls in. The best-case scenario is that temperatures don’t warm up enough between the two rounds of rain for the atmosphere to become unstable — we’ll just have to wait and see how the hour-by-hour temperatures behave. For what it’s worth, the SPC’s own forecast model shows a 70%+ chance of those severe weather ingredients coming together over central North Carolina this afternoon:Follow us on social media for any changes throughout the day — links are at the bottom of this post.

The rain moves out tonight, and Saturday is looking dry and pleasant!

The forecast from Sunday through Thursday is best summarized with a GIF, instead of words:

The large-scale weather pattern won’t change much from Sunday through Friday. This is a loop of the upper-atmospheric setup in that time frame:The air flows parallel to the black lines, which means we’re stuck in a southwesterly flow that will send little ripples our way to spark several rounds of rain. The problem is, it’s REALLY hard to pin down the timing of those ripples, because those features are quite small compared to the overall pattern. So while we have rain chances every day from Sunday through Thursday, we can’t stray too far from 50-50 chances — just take it day by day and be ready to make adjustments:

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