July 6: Relief Is Just Around The Corner, Watching The Tropics

After a steamy, sultry, pick-your-uncomfortable-adjective first week of July, some relief from the heat and humidity is on the way!

But it's not here yet...highs this afternoon will still reach the low 90s:

And the humidity will still make it feel like the mid to upper 90s:

Like the past couple of days, we could see a few spotty showers developing in the heat of the afternoon -- but it's a cold front dropping in from the north that will spark a much better chance of showers and thunderstorms by this evening. The HRRR model's radar simulation from noon through midnight shows a busy pattern developing:

That's one version of one forecast model, of course, and none of them are perfect. Smoothing out the differences between the various models, here's my estimate of our hour-by-hour storm chances through midnight:

The Storm Prediction Center hasn't included us in any risk areas for severe weather, but I still think that we could get some stronger storms. Today's heat and humidity will provide ample "storm fuel," and the cold front will be an adequate trigger to get things organized. What we'll lack is a significant amount of wind energy in the atmosphere overhead -- that helps to limit our chances of widespread severe weather, but I'm confident that at least a couple of storms will prompt severe thunderstorm warnings, with damaging straight-line winds the primary threat:

Regardless of the wind or hail threat, ANY storm that develops is likely to produce frequent cloud-to-ground lightning and heavy rain that could lead to some localized flooding problems.

The storms will head to the south and diminish late tonight, and we'll start the day Saturday with just some lingering showers, mostly south of the Triangle. Those will diminish by noon, but the clouds will stick around into much of the afternoon, keeping temperatures about ten degrees below-average:

We'll shake the clouds on Sunday, but temperatures will still be a few degrees below normal -- more importantly, the humidity will remain low. In short:

Enjoy the pleasant weather while it lasts, because we'll be back into the 90s soon enough:

Widening the scope a bit, we're keeping a close eye on the tropics, where our first hurricane of the Atlantic season has developed. Hurricane Beryl is still far out in the ocean, and is expected to weaken as it approaches the Lesser Antilles (the island chain that marks the entrance to the Caribbean):

We're also watching an area of disturbed weather closer to the East Coast. The National Hurricane Center now estimates an 80% chance that this becomes a tropical depression -- the system is looking quite a bit more-organized on satellite this morning:

Regardless of whether it strengthens (or how much it strengthens), it's expected to meander around offshore and not directly impact our weather here in central North Carolina. That said, the medium-range American forecast model is trying to take that disturbance, push it to the South Carolina coast by early next week, then move it up the North Carolina coastline as a strengthening tropical storm by the middle of next week. (I'm not posting an image from the model because I know how social media works.) That scenario is currently NOT supported by any of the three more-accurate models (including the European forecast model). Still, it's something we'll keep a close eye on over the weekend and into early next week.

The nerd-links will return from their 4th Of July hiatus on Monday!


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