November 20: Sunshine! Finally!



Our long stretch of gray, cool and damp weather is finally coming to an end! Just a few peeks of sunshine yesterday managed to boost us into the mid 50s, the closest we’ve been to a “normal” high temperature in over a week.

The forecast for the rest of the month calls for high temperatures within 5° of normal each and every day.

Abundant sunshine today will return us to around 60° — still a couple degrees below-average, but it should feel really nice this afternoon.

Clear skies tonight will allow temperatures to drop off quickly after sunset, and we’ll end up in the 30s by early Thursday morning.

We’ll see just a few fair-weather clouds tomorrow, otherwise plenty of sunshine to push temperatures back up into the upper 50s.

Friday will be warmer, despite more clouds overhead…and those clouds could drop a few rain showers on us. The European forecast model’s simulation from 7:00am through 7:00pm Friday shows a few passing light rain showers, not an all-day washout.

The best chance of rain will arrive Saturday afternoon and continue into much of Saturday night. Back to the European model’s simulation, this time from 7:00pm Friday through 7:00pm Sunday — it shows that the rain should be gone by sunrise Sunday.

That dry break will continue Monday and Tuesday, before the next round of rain moves in on Wednesday — that’s the day before Thanksgiving, a VERY busy travel day across the country. It will just be rain around here…inconvenient for local travel, but not as bad as ice or snow. At this point, it looks like Thanksgiving itself will be dry in central North Carolina.

Wednesday’s storm system could produce some travel headaches elsewhere in the country, especially in the Upper Midwest and around the Great Lakes. The long-range forecast models are still sorting out the details, since we’re still a week out. The European model from 7:00pm Tuesday through 7:00pm Thursday shows a wintry mix from Indianapolis to Buffalo.

The American GFS model for the same time frame is quite a bit different. It shows a major early-winter storm bringing snow and ice to Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago and Detroit.

We’ll keep you updated as the situation evolves, so you know what you’re in for in terms of national travel.


Tropical Storm Sebastien formed yesterday in the Atlantic, and it’s still maintaining its strength this morning.

It’s not going to affect the islands in the Caribbean or even Bermuda — it will curve to the northeast and get absorbed into a cold front later this week.

Ordinarily I wouldn’t spend any time discussion a weak system that won’t affect anyone. But it’s significant because it’s the 18th named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. According to Colorado State University researcher Phil Klotzbach, this is the 9th Atlantic season on record (back to 1851) with 18+ named storms. The others are: 1887, 1933, 1969, 1995, 2005, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

That sounds impressive, but the National Hurricane Center is much more aggressive in classifying storms compared to even 20-30 years ago. Seven of this year’s 18 named storms lasted less than 24 hours — the most named storms lasting one day or less on record, and Sebastien won’t last much longer than that either. All of those non-event storms skew the numbers to make it look like a very active hurricane season on paper, when really it’s only been a slightly-above-average year overall.


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