August 20: More Heat, More Humidity, More Storms



The storms that developed in yesterday’s heat and humidity turned into “overachievers”. We saw numerous severe thunderstorm warnings, and even some wind damage reports scattered across central North Carolina:

The overall weather pattern will be very similar today through Thursday: plenty of heat and humidity, with scattered storms developing each day. The difference in today’s forecast is the timing of the storms — a little ripple in the atmosphere will spark some showers and storms late this evening and early tonight, a bit later compared to yesterday:The North American Model’s radar simulation from 6:00pm today through 6:00am Wednesday shows the scattered activity after dark, and also shows some storms trying to re-develop around the morning commute:Before the evening showers and storms try to move in, we’ll have plenty of time to heat up. This afternoon’s highs will reach the low 90s once again:The humidity will be “gross” once again:And…once again…today’s heat index will hover around 100°:

Any rain overnight or early Wednesday won’t spread out much in the way of rain-cooled air. Temperatures will only drop to the low to mid 70s by early Wednesday morning:Highs Wednesday will shoot back up to the upper 80s and low 90s, but the specific numbers will depend on how Wednesday’s rain chances evolve:Any morning showers will try to slow down the warm-up, but even a little August sunshine goes a long way when it comes to temperatures. More scattered showers and storms will develop later in the day, closer to the “normal” time in the late afternoon and early evening. Back to the NAM simulation, this time from noon through midnight Wednesday:Keep in mind, those simulations represent ONE version of ONE forecast model. The atmosphere will do what it wants, so the specific timing and placement of the storms is very hard to pin down in this kind of disorganized weather pattern.

Things start to change by the end of the work week, as a cold front approaches central North Carolina. That will bring a better chance of showers and thunderstorms Friday and Saturday, which will crack the heat wave:The latest long-range forecast data shows the cold front grinding to a halt, which keeps a lingering chance of showers and storms in the forecast Sunday and Monday. The good news is that the humidity will be slightly lower by then — still substantial enough to fuel the rain chances, but down toward the “tolerable” category on the Muggy Meter:There’s still a chance that the cold front will make it all the way through central North Carolina before it stalls out, which would reduce the Sunday/Monday rain chances. We’ll keep revising the forecast the rest of the week, as more data comes in…


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