July 8: Watching ‘disturbed weather’ in Gulf of Mexico

Weather

The big-picture weather pattern over central North Carolina hasn’t changed much at all since Independence Day, and it’s more of the same today: plenty of heat and humidity, plenty of scattered storms developing this afternoon. Temperatures will reach the upper 80s and low 90s before the storms pop up:But once you factor in the abundant humidity, it will feel like close to 100°:The best chance of storms will take shape by mid- to late-afternoon, and will continue into this evening. Unlike the past few days, it looks like the storms will keep going for a few hours after sunset:The HRRR model’s radar simulation from 10:00am today through 2:00am Tuesday shows the hit-or-miss nature of the storms:It’s a good chance of rain overall, but far from 100% — just be flexible with any outdoor plans and keep the umbrella handy.

After the storms wind down, temperatures will drop to the upper 60s and low 70s by early Tuesday morning — very close to normal for early July:

Lingering clouds will slow down the warm-up on Tuesday…we’ll only reach the mid to upper 80s for highs, a few degrees below-average:Our rain chances will be lower on Tuesday, but not zero. The North American Model’s radar simulation from 10:00am through 10:00pm Tuesday shows very light activity:

Now for some good news! The humidity will drop a bit tomorrow night — it won’t go away, but we should be noticeably lower on the Muggy Meter for most of Wednesday:That won’t last long, though…oppressive humidity will be back in time to fuel our next good chance of storms late Thursday:Our weekend rain chances will be lower, which means our temperatures will be hotter!

We’re also keeping an eye on the tropics! An area of disturbed weather that’s currently over the southeastern U.S. will drift into the Gulf of Mexico over the next couple of days. The National Hurricane Center now estimates an 80% chance that the disturbance will at least develop into a tropical depression:The water in that part of the Gulf is pretty warm for this time of year, and of course that’s the fuel for tropical systems (30°C = 86°F):The European ensemble model even estimates a better than 50-50 chance it becomes Tropical Storm Barry:But the same model estimates only a 5% chance it reaches hurricane strength:Exactly where it goes is still up in the air, although the most-likely scenario takes it west toward the coasts of Louisiana and Texas. One last map from the European ensemble — this is the “spaghettios” plot, showing the position and strength of the storm from each of the four dozen members of the ensemble:That’s a messy map, because there’s still so much uncertainty about how this system will evolve. Everyone along the Gulf Coast from Florida to Mexico will be keeping an eye on this thing as it takes shape over the next few days. While it appears unlikely that it will directly affect our weather here in central North Carolina, we’ll keep a close eye on it too.

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