September 17: Autumnal Air On The Way



The first 16 days of September have ranked in the top ten warmest on record in the Triangle, but RELIEF from the heat and humidity is on the way! You just have to put up with one more warm and muggy day…highs will reach the mid to upper 80s this afternoon.

The humidity won’t be as dreadful as it was last week, but it will certainly still be noticeable today. Check out the drop on the Muggy Meter that kicks in tonight, and how long we’ll stay in “Nice” territory on the scale!

While the mugginess is still here, it will fuel a chance for a few spotty showers (maybe a rumble?) late this afternoon into this evening. The HRRR model’s radar simulation from noon through midnight shows the chance of a passing shower.

The dry air will move in right on the heels of the spotty showers. Drier air cools off to a much greater extent compared to muggy air, so temperatures will drop to the upper 50s and low 60s by early Wednesday morning.

We’ll see plenty of late-summer sunshine on Wednesday, but northeasterly winds around 10 mph will keep the cooler air flowing into central North Carolina. Highs will only reach the upper 70s and low 80s — slightly below average for a change!

The nice weather will continue Thursday, Friday, and even into the weekend. A gradual warming trend will kick in this weekend, but at worst it will be “tolerably hot” by Sunday.

We’re not done with the warm weather for the season, though…the Climate Prediction Center’s outlook for the rest of September shows that above-average temperatures are likely for most of the country.


We continue to watch Hurricane Humberto very carefully…but it’s not going to directly impact our weather, since it will move AWAY from the East Coast over the next 48 hours. It’s a strong Category 1 storm this morning, with 90 mph sustained winds and gusts to 115 mph.

The storm has been re-organizing itself over the last several hours, a sign that it’s going to intensify soon. The National Hurricane Center’s forecast anticipates that, showing Humberto becoming a Category 2 storm this afternoon. The NHC also shows it briefly reaching “major hurricane” status (Category 3 or above) tomorrow afternoon, as it accelerates toward Bermuda.

The center of Humberto is likely to miss Bermuda to the north — the island nation will get some gusty winds and heavy rain, but will avoid a direct impact from the worst of the storm’s wind and storm surge. After Humberto brushes by Bermuda, it will turn north into the North Atlantic — it will weaken and become “post-tropical” by the end of the week.

Elsewhere in the tropics, we continue to monitor two areas of potential development. The one that’s closer to land will have no impact on our weather, and has only a 30% chance of becoming a tropical depression as it drifts toward the Texas coast.

Even if that storm doesn’t become a tropical depression or tropical storm, it’s going to bring heavy rain and flooding to southeast Texas, including the Houston area. It’s yet another example that even weak tropical systems can produce dangerous weather conditions — check out the “Excessive Rainfall Outlook” around Houston for the next three days.

Farther out in the Atlantic, we’re likely to see a tropical depression form over the next 48 hours. It’s still several days away from even approaching the islands in the Caribbean, but it’s likely to strengthen further in that time frame.

The European forecast model’s ensemble shows a 50-50 chance that it will become Tropical Storm Imelda by the weekend.

After that, most of the ensemble members curve the system north, away from the Caribbean and away from the U.S. coastline. The “spaghettios” animation shows each ensemble member’s version of where the storm will be and how strong it will be — you can see that it’s a wide range of possibilities.

We’ll keep a close eye on that system over the next several days, but it isn’t anything you should be worried about at this point.


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