January 23: Clouds, Then Rain, Then…Warmth?


Another frigid morning marks the beginning of the end of this cold snap. We’ll only warm up to the upper 40s and low 50s this afternoon — still below-average, but the warmest readings we’ve seen all week.

Increasing clouds throughout the day will continue to thicken overnight, keeping temperatures from falling too far. We’ll bottom out in the 30s during the week hours of Friday morning, then temperatures should warm up a few degrees before sunrise.

A few cold rain showers will be possible at any point during the day on Friday, before a round of heavier rain sweeps in from the west late Friday evening. The HRRR model’s radar simulation from 4:00am through 1:00pm Friday shows the light hit-or-miss showers…basically a “coin flip” rain chance during the day.

Friday’s temperatures are the challenging part of the forecast. I think most of the model data is trending too warm with temperatures in the Triangle. The clouds, showers, and easterly winds will keep areas along and west of US-1 substantially cooler than the Coastal Plain and Sandhills. Even this model estimate is likely too warm for the Triangle and Piedmont…but may be way too cool in Fayetteville!

To say the least, it’s a “high uncertainty” setup — we could easily approach 60° in the Triangle if the winds shift, or we could be stuck in the 40s if the rain spreads out.

Back to the rain: the North American Model’s simulation from 1:00pm Friday through 7:00am Saturday shows the band of heavier rain quickly moving through Friday night. The last of the showers should be out of here by sunrise on Saturday.

That leaves us with dry weather for the weekend, and temperatures will actually warm up once the rain moves out. Both Saturday and Sunday are looking pretty good for late January!

The dry weather continues Monday and Tuesday, before a longer stretch of unsettled weather sets up late next week. Still more questions than answers about that pattern, so we’ll keep you updated as we approach the end of January.

I got caught in a meeting most of yesterday afternoon, so I didn’t have time to mine the interwebs for other science news. The nerd-links will be back when I’m back at work on Monday! Enjoy the weekend…

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