September 23: Un-autumnal weather this week



Autumn officially arrived at 3:50am today — but Mother Nature apparently didn’t set an alarm. Summer-like temperatures will prevail today, through the rest of the week, and even into the beginning of October.

Temperatures will climb to the upper 80s and low 90s this afternoon — not record-setting, but WAY above-normal for late September.

The humidity will be noticeable today, but still tolerable. After a little drop in the mugginess tomorrow, we’ll see (and feel) a steady climb on the Muggy Meter for the rest of the week.

Temperatures tonight will only drop to the mid to upper 60s.

Tuesday won’t be quite as warm, but temperatures will still reach well into the 80s.

Wednesday’s highs will reach the 80s again, then it’s back to around or above 90° through the weekend.

That puts us into near-record territory — it looks like we’ll get closest to a record high on Thursday and again on Sunday.

Beyond the 7-day forecast, there aren’t many signs of large-scale change in the overall pattern. The Climate Prediction Center’s 8-14 day outlook shows a significant chance of above-average temperatures and below-average rainfall all the way through the first week of October.


The tropics are still very busy — we have two named storms, and a third that will likely reach that level later today. Let’s go in alphabetical order…first up, Tropical Storm Jerry. It’s a strong tropical storm this morning, with 65 mph sustained winds as of 5:00am.

The National Hurricane Center’s forecast path takes Jerry north today, then curves it northeast toward Bermuda, still as a tropical storm. Like Humberto last week, Jerry’s center of circulation will just miss Bermuda to the north.

Tropical Storm Karen formed yesterday — it’s barely holding onto that status this morning, with 40 mph sustained winds. It’s not an organized storm at all…almost all of the thunderstorm activity is displaced to the south of the center of circulation.

The NHC path takes Karen over Puerto Rico tomorrow, still as a weak tropical storm (but with plenty of rain). As the storm works its way north into the Atlantic, it will very slowly intensify.

The extended NHC forecast shows why we need to be watching Karen in the long term — the storm slows down, becomes stronger, and starts to turn to the west by late this week.

If that westward trend continues, it would allow Karen to eventually approach the southeastern U.S. coastline. But the forecast data is all over the place with this storm — this is the “spaghetti plot” of the various forecast model scenarios.

Some models take Karen toward the Florida coast next week, others show it just meandering around the Atlantic Ocean for a while. Right now, it looks like the “heat dome” that will set up camp over our neck of the woods should help to steer Karen clear of any impact on central North Carolina. But we’ll keep a close eye on the storm, just in case!

Finally, we’re tracking Tropical Depression #13 — it’s WAY out there in the tropical Atlantic, barely off the west coast of Africa.

This is likely to become Tropical Storm Lorenzo later today, and the NHC forecast shows it reaching hurricane status tomorrow. But it’s so far out there, it’s unlikely to threaten land (even islands) for the next 7 to 10 days.

I’m out the door to “talk weather” to a group of 7th-graders this morning, so no time for the nerd-links. Your daily dose of nerdiness will be back tomorrow…

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