I feel like I’ve used that headline every other day so far this year. So far in 2020, the Triangle has picked up over eight inches of rain, almost double what’s normal to this point in the year. In fact, through yesterday, the first 42 days of the year are the 6th-warmest AND 6th-wettest on record in the Triangle.
We’ll see clouds overhead all day today, but those clouds won’t bring us much of a rain chance. The HRRR model’s radar simulation from 9:00am through 9:00pm just shows a few “radar freckles” — your odds of picking up more than a trace of rain are just 20%.
Easterly winds will keep the clouds and cool temperatures locked in place today. This afternoon’s temperatures will only be a few degrees warmer than where we started off this morning.
Low temperatures usually occur around sunrise, but tonight’s lows will occur this evening.
As winds swivel around to the south and southwest, temperatures will warm up overnight — we’ll be in the low 60s by sunrise on Thursday.
We’ll climb to around 70° in the Triangle by midday Thursday, before a good chance of rain arrives. Where the rain arrives earlier, you’ll stay in the 60s…where the rain arrives later, you’ll climb farther into the 70s.
The rain will shape up as a narrow band of heavier downpours — maybe a few thunderstorms — followed by lingering off-and-on showers. The North American Model’s radar simulation from 7:00am Thursday through 7:00am Friday shows the heaviest rain around early afternoon, with the last of the showers wrapping up before sunrise Friday.
It’s possible that a storm or two could become severe and pose a damaging wind threat, but I’m not impressed with the mix of severe weather ingredients. The Storm Prediction Center has included most of central North Carolina in a “Marginal Risk” (level 1 of 5) of severe storms, but I think even that lowest category is a stretch.
Cold air will crash in right behind the rain — highs Friday and Saturday will only reach the 40s, with Saturday morning’s lows in the 20s! Sunday’s high temperatures will return to “normal,” in the mid 50s.
We’ve reduced Sunday and Monday’s rain chances a bit, but I can’t drop them to zero just yet. The long-range data is muddled, with some forecast models indicating completely dry weather, and others bringing hit-or-miss showers into central North Carolina. The higher rain chances should hold off until the middle of next week.
Short list today, since my social media time yesterday was consumed by…this.
- The National Weather Service just celebrated its 150th anniversary. Does the public really understand its contributions to weather forecasts?
- Australia just can’t catch a break: Sydney was just inundated with 15 inches of rain — the most in a 4-day period since 1990. The rains put out several large bush fires, but caused problems of their own.
- Unprecedented fires have now ravaged more than 11 million hectares in eastern Australia, penetrating ancient rainforests that rarely, if ever, faced fires before.
- Forest fires in 2019 emitted a total of 7.8 billion metric tons of carbon, the highest since 2002, according to the Global Fire Emissions Database.
- The number of chinstrap penguins in some Western Antarctica colonies has fallen by around 77% since last surveyed in the 1970s, largely due to the influence of climate change.
- New observations offer the best look yet at how one star can take down its neighbor.
- Close encounters between stars in “stellar clusters” can disrupt planetary systems and toss planets into black holes.