March 14: Warmer And Breezy

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Spring doesn’t officially arrive until next Wednesday, but we’re getting a taste of April weather for the next couple of days. We’ll see a fair amount of cloud cover overhead today, but temperatures will still warm up to the low to mid 70s, thanks to strong southwesterly winds:

The wind will be noticeable overnight, keeping the mild air locked in place:

Still windy tomorrow, even a couple of degrees warmer!

A good chance of showers and a few storms will roll in from the west Friday afternoon and evening. The North American Model’s radar simulation from noon Friday through 6:00am Saturday shows the rain moving through pretty quickly, so we’re not looking at a soaking rain event:While the radar simulation may not look all that impressive, a few storms could become strong or maybe even severe. The combination of severe weather ingredients in the atmosphere won’t be perfect — there will be plenty of wind energy, plenty of warmth at ground level, but not much cold air in the upper atmosphere, and humidity levels won’t be all that impressive:The Storm Prediction Center hasn’t even included us in a “Marginal Risk” (their lowest category) of severe weather in tomorrow’s outlook:But the SPC’s own forecast model shows a 50%-70%+ chance of favorable severe thunderstorm ingredients around 5:00pm, as the storms are moving into central North Carolina:With that in mind, I’m not willing to rule out the possibility of a few storms triggering severe thunderstorm warnings late Friday afternoon and early Friday evening. Damaging straight-line winds would be the primary threat, but a few storms could rotate as well…so we’ll keep a close eye on things:

Once the rain moves out, skies will clear out and we’ll cool down for the weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday still look DRY, before slight rain chances dot the forecast a couple of days next week:Temperatures will run 5°-10° below-average next week, so the first day of spring may not feel all that spring-like, especially early in the day.

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